NOT ONE ACRE MORE
Last Updated: Monday, June 25, 2007 | 12:18 PM ET
Travellers in the Montreal-Toronto-Ottawa corridor may have to adjust
their Canada Day weekend plans after a native group said it will go
ahead with a road or rail barricade on Friday, likely between
Belleville and Kingston.
Spokesman Shawn Brant confirmed Monday that protesters from the
Tyendinaga Mohawk reserve near Deseronto, Ont., plan to set up a
blockade of either Highway 401 or the national rail line, close to the
town on Lake Ontario's Bay of Quinte, or will block access to
The move will be part of the Assembly of First Nations' National Day
of Action on June 29 to draw attention to aboriginal poverty and
unresolved land claims, Brant said.
He added that the day is important for indigenous people.
"We're gonna be able to say to the government, 'This is the power that
we have,' " said Brant, whose group has occupied a quarry near
Deseronto since March to protest an unresolved land claim.
Brant is also among those named in a lawsuit launched by Canadian
National Railway over a blockade held in April over the same issue.
The Tyendinaga Mohawk band council is negotiating with the federal
government over about 400 hectares of privately held land that Mohawks
say they never surrendered. Brant's group says the talks are moving
Phil Fontaine, the national chief of the Assembly of First Nations,
has said the National Day of Action is meant to reach out to
Canadians, not to cause major disruptions.
In May, Chief Terrance Nelson of Manitoba's Roseau River First Nation
threatened to block a CN line running through his community on the
June day of action.
He called off the protest last Tuesday after Indian Affairs
Minister Jim Prentice decided to add 30 hectares of new land to the
Roseau River band's territory.
Brant called the government's move at Roseau River a last-minute ploy
and said he thinks it was done to "destabilize June 29 as a day of
He was also critical of Nelson's decision to call off his blockade.
"To say that 70 acres was enough to sell out the day and sell out the
people is an indignity to everyone who's been standing in these
positions from the beginning," he said