Friday, July 6, 2007

Haldimand "Proposal"

I would like to say that when you stand on a bridge for 3 days, or when you are involved in an issue you are very fortunate to meet many people. On the most part I found that like myself most felt that their voice was "unheard". Most also care deeply, and are very proud to live in "Haldimand County".

One women I have met recently shared an idea with me on a proposal for a "Park", and I have been given her permission to share the following with you.

"Friendship Park Proposal"

I would like to suggest that the Douglas Creek Estate lands that are currently being purchased by the Provincial Government be retained by the Province in perpetuity to be used as a park for the joint benefit of the people of Caledonia and Six Nations to remember the importance of Friendship forever.

The site would be turned into a walking park called Friendship Park. There would be paths throughout the park named for each of the native bands on six nations and for the different nationalities living in Caledonia.
I would suggest that a tree be planted for every day that the occupation of the lands has been in place to remind us all of the length of time we have lost our understanding of one another’s needs, we have not respected one another, and the trust that has been lost between the two peoples. There would be one large parking lot at the building constructed at the corner of Argyle Street and 6th Line.

Friendship Park would be the centre of many joint events celebrating our peoples (e.g. Canada Day, National Aboriginal Day, Remembrance Day, Victoria Day).

1. In the centre of the park there would be a bandstand that would be used on a regular basis during the spring, summer and fall months to host events celebrating the peoples of Caledonia and Six Nations to help reinforce an understanding of one another and a respect for our differences. Around the bandstand would be the following:

 On the north side of the bandstand would be the flags from left to right of Canada, Ontario, Haldimand, the Six Nations Reserve and each of the native bands on Six Nations together in a row.

 On the east side would be a monument that has the word “UNDERSTANDING” to represent the need for understanding between the two peoples.

 On the south side of the bandstand would be a monument with the word “RESPECT” to represent the need for the two peoples to have respect for one another’s differences.

 On the west side of the bandstand would be a monument with the work “TRUST” to represent the trust that has been lost and that needs to be recaptured by both peoples.

2. At the corner of Argyle Street and 6th Line would be built a Friendship Centre. This building would contain a section that would be used to display the history of this area that demonstrates the views of both Six Nations and European settlers.
This building would also include a learning centre that would have regular learning sessions hosted by either Six Nations representatives or Haldimand representatives or both with the primary emphasis on developing a better understanding of the history and issues each face.
Finally, in this building I would propose regular meetings of the leaders of both Haldimand and Six Nations to jointly discuss plans for growth and development that will benefit both Haldimand and Six Nations.

One could take a hard-nosed approach to the Douglas Creek Estates and get nowhere or one could take a conciliatory approach and benefit both Caledonia and Six Nations peoples.

As you can see from her opening statement, this park proposal was designed in 2006, just as the Province was purchasing Douglas Creek Estates. She sent her proposal to the Mayor of Haldimand County, and some government officials that were at the negotiating table at that time.

Thank you for allowing me to share your ideas with the public.


  1. First thing that is needed is for someone to declare whether DCE claim is valid or not.

    If the claim isn't valid then the land should be returned for development.

    Anything short of this will only encourage more occupations.

    Any Friendship Park will only cause the protesters to believe the land is there.

  2. There will be a point in time when the people of Six Nations and the people of Haldimand will again need to reach out to one another.

    Right now there is a lot of anger as a result of the confrontational approach of the DCE Occupiers and those on the Reserve that support confrontational tactics.

    At some point in time Six Nations will have to deal with those that are causing trouble. At some point in time the Federal and Provincial governments will need to address the underlying problems facing us all with regard to Six Nations.

    At that point in time do we really think that houses will be built on DCE? Who would buy a house in that location? We could pave it over and fill it with stores which would benefit everyone. We could also use it to reach out to one another in a positive non-confrontational way.

    The choice is ours to make. Let's hope we make the right choice for all.

  3. In Caledonia, we're a long, long way from being able to stomach such an idea. Thanks to governments, this has all gone on too long with too many raw emotions involved to think that such a touchy-feely idea could possibly be successful. Maybe a generation or two down the road, but not now.....

    I agree that such a proposal will only lead to more native crowing about their rights with little or no regard for everyone else's. Same old, same old and we're all so tired of it.

  4. What a great idea! It would be an excellant tool to bring in tourism.

    I believe that it would be a first of it's kind in Ontario, and would be something that we could all be proud of.


  5. Since there is no police protection the park would be unsafe.

    We'd be paying for a site full of broken Jack Daniels bottles, drug deals, guns, and all sorts of contraband.

    No change, really.

  6. This was posted in the Caledoniawakeupcall forum under "Job well done":

    How about initially, a neutral third party form a committee composed of stakeholders from the Caledonia community, including the Six Nations. This interim alliance will spearhead a fundraising campaign and establish a set of guidelines for the establishment of shared facilities which will be used by all members of both communities, and not compete with existing businesses. Portions of the land will be allocated to mutually beneficial shared facilities .

    Some shared facilities which will serve to build bridges between the two communities could include:
    1) YMCA
    The YMCA could be petitioned by this interim alliance to erect an athletic/recreational center. A portion of the land would eventually be ceded to the YMCA with specified uses and restrictions established by this alliance written into the deed. The following is taken from the YMCA website:

    “YMCAs are developed in each community by a group of local citizens who believe a YMCA could address some of the existing and future community needs. To start a YMCA, a community organizing group would need to be formed. The organizing group would assess needs, service models and establish a broad base of community support. Funding for all YMCAs comes from within the community. YMCAs in Canada belong to YMCA Canada. YMCA Canada is a federation of local community YMCAs that works on common needs and issues. If you know of a group of interested individuals who believes they could form an organizing group, or to find out more, contact one of the regional coordinators listed below, closest to you. In Ontario this is Scott Haldane - 416-413-1020 x 2178.”
    The interim alliance is described above as “community organizing group”. This group will assess and establish guidelines, and oversee fundraising. This YMCA will shared facilities such as pools, gym, squash, tennis, baseball and soccer facilities which will establish ties between the two communities.

    2) First Nations Heritage Center
    Some portion of the land could be held by the province to develop a first nations heritage center and
    museum which will provide an ongoing bridge between the two communities.

    3) Notre Dame School
    A portion of the land adjacent to Notre Dame School could be sold to the separate school board. Notre Dame has several portable buildings and desperately requires room for expansion. Money raised from the sale of this parcel of land could be used to fund the YMCA or equivalent.

    4) Educational Consortium
    Some portion of the land could be allocated to a campus for a consortium between The First Nations Polytechnic, Mohawk College and MacMaster University. Some elements of such a facility currently exist at all three institutions and could be integrated at a consortium campus.

    5) Health Center
    Walk-in clinic, medical offices etc.

    6) Combination
    There is enough room to accommodate several of these projects.

  7. It is good to see that some can see the positive point of view.

    Thanks Donna for sharing.

  8. Don't you have to wait until negotiations are over? ... or is the province willing to go ahead anyway?

  9. Thanks for the comments everyone.

    Regarding this proposal being posted on Caledonia Wakeupcall. They often re-publish my articles on their site. The individual still wants to remain anonymous.

    "g", this proposal was from an individual that I have met. This is not a proposal that is in anyway being negotiated by any government.

    As most of what we hear about is negative, I felt that a positive article would be good, and I do believe that when all is said and done, this above proposal is a wonderful one of a kind plan.