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Norfolk County Ignores Indigenous Land Rights in Shameless Cash Grab

NORFOLK COUNTY, ONTARIO, CANADA, July 6, 2021 / -- The Haudenosaunee Development Institute (HDI) is appalled by the actions of Norfolk County in its attempt to charge the Haudenosaunee a fee for exercising their rights under the Nanfan Treaty of 1701 at 1594 Concession 2, Townsend – known in the Haudenosaunee language as Onehsa’keh.

“Land is central to the Haudenosaunee way of life,” said Aaron Detlor of HDI, the organization appointed by the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council (HCCC) to protect Haudenosaunee rights. “When colonizers came to our territory, their goal was first and foremost to steal our lands. Many Canadians are currently coming to understand the horrors that Canada inflicted on our peoples as a result of colonization. We had hoped that Norfolk County would turn this moment of national reckoning into action that moves forward on reconciliation, rather than further exploitation and colonial practices against Indigenous peoples.”

HDI is working to ensure that their lands never leave the possession of the Haudenosaunee, and that they are able to exercise the full extent of their rights. Any attempts to disrupt or monetize the Haudenosaunee’s use of lands that the Haudenosaunee have inhabited since time immemorial is an attempt to colonize the Haudenosaunee people.

“We have taken this land back into our possession and we are going to take all peaceful steps necessary to protect the land and ensure that no one other than the Haudenosaunee are ever able to use this land,” said Skyler Williams.

In April, the HCCC, supported by the elected chief of the Six Nations of Grand River, called for a development moratorium on lands within the Haldimand Tract. From time immemorial and to this day, Onehsa’keh remains Haudenosaunee land, and HDI hopes that Norfolk County will come to the table in good faith to discuss this property and its value to our people - and do the right thing.

“The Haudenosaunee will take every peaceful measure to ensure that these lands remain under the stewardship of our people,” said Detlor. “We have no intention of leaving Onehsa’keh or paying for the use of lands that we have never ceded.”

The Haudenosaunee – meaning people of the long house – Confederacy also known as the Iroquois Confederacy and the League of Five Nations is a unified council of Nations: the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga and Seneca. Established prior to European contact, the Confederacy is the oldest democracy on Earth and its constitution served as a model for the American Constitution.

The Haudenosaunee Development Institute was created in 2007 as a response to a deluge of developers seeking approval of projects on HCCC land. The developers approached the HCCC directly when Canada and Ontario failed to respect Haudenosaunee rights. The HDI functions to ensure Haudenosaunee law is respected and protects Haudenosaunee rights in dealings with developers.


For more information, contact:

Aaron Detlor
Haudenosaunee Development Institute
+1 647-228-1454