Canada's New Government announces Community Liaison Official for Six Nations/Caledonia file

OTTAWA, Sept. 15 /CNW Telbec/ - The following statement was released today by the Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians:

I am pleased to announce the appointment of the Honourable David Crombie as the Community Liaison Official (CLO) for Canada on this file. Mr. Crombie brings years of first-hand knowledge of Aboriginal and third party issues and possesses the qualifications needed to ensure that concerns are appropriately addressed.

The CLO will provide an official means by which interested third parties can voice concerns and receive updates on the progress of negotiations. Mr. Crombie will act as a liaison with federal negotiators and the non-Aboriginal community. The federal negotiators will continue to liaise with the Haudenosaunee/Six Nations. Mr. Crombie will be available to meet with interested third parties/groups as required to assist the negotiators in determining the best way to address any local issues or concerns of third parties.

Canada's New Government is committed to resolving the complex land claims issue along the Grand River in Southern Ontario. The only solution in the Six Nations/Caledonia file is a negotiated one and Canada has been working closely with Six Nations and the Government of Ontario to achieve such a solution. This process must also recognize the unique circumstances created as a result of the occupation. Our government knows that a key element in reaching a negotiated solution is to ensure that fair consideration is given to local concerns.

I would like to thank my Caucus colleague, the Honourable Diane Finley (Member of Parliament for Haldimand-Norfolk and Minister of Citizenship and Immigration) for her constructive involvement in this issue and the community leadership she has shown.

The recent act of violence in Caledonia is deplorable. Canada's New Government does not condone lawbreaking or violence and believes that unlawful tactics are disruptive to negotiations while placing the public safety of all parties at risk.

It is in no one's interest to jeopardize the fragile trust currently in place, nor the hard work of all the parties, as we work to resolve this issue in a peaceful manner.

Discussions with Six Nations deal with complex issues which stem from historical events dating back to the 18th century. The parties must remain committed to work through challenging issues in a peaceful and respectful manner in order to find lasting and common solutions.

The Honourable Chuck Strahl, MP, PC
Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal
Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians