Tuesday evening, the Free Thinking Film Society presented ‘Caledonia: No More Nightmares’.
It was a memorable evening.
I hesitate to say ‘good’, because even though the speakers were engaging and informative, all the people were pleasant (with only minor exceptions, hardly worth mentioning) and everything was well 0rganized – even the Ottawa Police were friendly and effective – the very fact that the events discussed during this evening happened is deeply troubling.
Here is a taste of what the evening was like:
There was a lot of food for thought there, that evening, and I am still not done thinking it all through – I am a slow thinker. I will write more about this.
The one thing that I learned coming from the evening was this: The ‘bad guys’ here were not ‘The Natives’ – a few residents there misbehaved at the beginning, true, but as soon as there was conflict which the OPP refused to police, militants from all over, of all races and colours, traveled to the 6 Nations land and robbed, raped and otherwise oppressed the Native residents. ‘The Natives’ were just as stuck as Caledonia residents. The OPP refused to help all of them.
The only ones whom the OPP protected were the militants. Yes, some of the militants were Natives. But most of the Natives from 6 Nations were not militants and most of the militants were not from the 6 Nations!
Had the OPP done their job at the beginning, the militants would not have sensed weakness and set up camp in Caledonia. None of this would have happened!
Marie Trainer, who was the Mayor for Haldimand county during these events, gave the most moving speech of the evening. It really brought home just how helpless and abandoned the people – both on the Caledonia/Haldimand county side and on the 6 Nations Reservation side.
One could see just how responsible she felt for her people, how heavily this weighed on her.
She told us an interesting story.
A number of illegal smoke shacks had sprung up in the area. These sell cigarets which have not passed any safety controls, and they sell cigarets to minors. Marie Trainer worked together with the 6 Nations Council to shut down the two smoke shacks on the County property and the two smoke shacks on the 6 Nations land. Now, only the 2 shacks on land owned by the Province of Ontario (controlled by the militants) remained. A representative from 6 Nations and Marie Trainer together went to the Province, asking for action to be taken to shut these illegal smoke shacks which sold tainted cigarettes to minors – to no avail. The Province of Ontario refused to take action to help them!