Six Nations Band Council has made a number of missteps over the past two terms elected chief Bill Montour has been at the helm, but calling the OPP on their own people has to be the tops. Instead of shining in the glow of the media spotlight for signing a deal that will see Samsung making millions by constructing the world’s largest solar and wind farms, the council is finding itself in the dangerous position of putting community lives at stake.
Elected Chief Bill Montour, said if Six Nations people continue to protest Samsung’s development, Samsung and the property owners should call the OPP to enforce the law. Enforce the law. On Six Nations people. The same people the elected chief called “Land Protectors.” People he joined in protests. People whose protests helped him pressure Ontario or Canada to deal with the band council not the Confederacy. Instead of shining in the limelight of signing a green energy deal that could bring some money to their coffers, they find themselves drowning in bad press and lacking support for the community. Why? They signed a deal behind closed doors. They refuse to provide information on details of the deal and what Six Nations is getting in return for tying up its lands for 20 years. They continue to press Ontario and Canada to ignore the Confederacy, and by that, its people who make up a majority of the community no matter how you want to look at it. And they refuse to acknowledge that maybe, just maybe they are wrong. They refuse to work in collaboration with the Confederacy who is constantly telling them to return to the land rights table. But life at the land rights table didn’t bring any media spotlights or legacy to their council. And let’s talk about the current band council’s legacy. The band council has Six Nations tied into a horrendous land fill site monstrosity that cost the community over $5 million and is not complete. The council tied the community into a $16 million debt for a water treatment plant bank loan and the bank is now demanding to hold the community’s current and future gaming funds for collateral. A plant, let’s remember the Confederacy chiefs had negotiated at the land rights table with Canada paying full price. A success lost when the band pulled away from the table, tried to shine the media light on themselves in announcing the new plant, and then missed funding deadlines that put the community into the debt. And of course let’s not forget digging up a village site archeologists recommended move to a stage 4 dig on. Add to this mess a band employee who sends out an email (in its entirety, above) that helps no one adding only injury and insult to the entire community and for that he owes the community an apology. Whitlow’s email, while an unofficial statement of the elected band council, clearly reflects the mood of the band council and sadly perhaps some of its employees and that attitude is simply unacceptable . And now we have Samsung. And the loss of 515 acres of unceded lands for the next two decades. Lands the Confederacy had been negotiating for return to the community for housing. So remember when the band says they are looking to the future, to the faces yet to come, those faces must be of homeless Six Nations people since they took away the lands they could have built homes on. Now to hide details of the deal from the very people whom have a right to it, the people who own the land and take the stance that they know what’s best for the community smacks of simple paternalism. Elected Chief Bill Montour promised this community he would work with the Confederacy and bring the community together. Instead his council’s stance may create an internal explosion that along with a bankrupt community may become their legacy.