Native Protesters on Government Payroll

by Gary McHale - The Regional

July 14, 2010

Shocking revelation that the same Native Protesters who have blocked roads in Caledonia with hydro towers, assaulted people or occupied construction sites are on the Ontario Government payroll.

Over the past three years members of HDI (Haudenosaunee Development Institute) have been pressuring various construction site owners to pay them fees. Floyd and Ruby Montour would then show up and shut these sites down and demand the builders pay the HDI fees. The Men's Fire group would then threaten to step in and enforce the HDI fees.

Documents I entered into court a few weeks ago show that some members of the HDI, Floyd Montour and some members of the Men's Fire group have received money from the Ontario Government. These documents show that Aaron Detlor, Brian Doolittle, Hazel Hill of the HDI group, Brian Jesse Porter, Clyde Powless, Brian Skye and Wes Elliot of the Men's Fire group and Floyd Montour have all received money from the Ontario Government.

Jesse Porter, charged for pulling the hydro tower across the road on Dec. 1, 2007, is reported to have received in one year (06-07) $131,240 as reported in Ontario Public Account's report which is currently found on the Ontario Government website.

Not bad income for someone blocking roads illegally using a hydro tower which he doesn't own.

When Mr. Porter realized he was facing criminal charges it was reported in the Turtle Island News that he called for a meeting with the Chiefs and Commissioner Fantino to ask them to help him regarding his charge. The Turtle even printed a great photo of Commissioner Fantino laughing with Clyde Powless and Floyd Montour with Mr. Porter standing nearby.

Did this government paid Native Protester get anything as a result of this meeting? Well, a few months later Supt. John Cain wrote Mr. Porter a character reference letter to be used in court that supported both him and Mr. Clyde Powless. Commissioner Fantino wrote a reference letter to help Mr. Powless.

A letter submitted in court which was written by the Haudenosaunee Six Nations Council of Chiefs claims that Mr. Porter and Mr. Powless are "delegated the responsibilities of maintaining peace and order on the site of the Douglas Creek Lands of the Six Nations." Mr. Porter and Mr.  Powless may claim not to be part of the Men's Fire, yet much of the activities of the Men's Fire was done in their presence.

Mr. Powless was charged with mischief for pulling the hydro tower across the road and with assault. Later he was charged with assaulting a police officer, being a member of a riot, obstructing the police and assault causing bodily harm. Of course he received a support letter from Commissioner Fantino and the Crown withdrew all the charges except for the assault charge.

Almost the same day the builders in Cayuga were begging the OPP to remove Floyd and Ruby Montour from their property, Floyd was laughing it up with the Commissioner. According to OPP Officer Dan Michaud, who was the site commander in Cayuga, the Crown's office had ordered him and the OPP not to lay charges against Native Protesters. He claimed the Crown stated there were no criminal offenses taking place in Cayuga after a whole month of the Montours shutting down construction.

The HDI demands payment, Floyd and Ruby Montour shut down construction sites and the Men's Fire are the strong arm enforcers who threaten violence if you don't comply. They are being paid by the Ontario Government and it appears that if they do get arrested the OPP will even support them in court.

The Crown, on Aug. 20, 2008, withdrew nine charges in total against Floyd and Ruby Montour and the OPP entered in one charge of mischief against both. On May 6, 2009 the Crown withdrew this mischief charge and in return the Montours agreed to a Peace Bond.

In September 2008 the Turtle Island News was reporting the details of an audit which showed that in one year Six Nations received $1,131,382.00 for negotiations. Lawyer Aaron Detlor, legal counsel for HDI, received $220, 536.37 in legal fees and another $7,000 for attending community meetings. Hazel Hill, another member of HDI, received $40,000 for her "volunteer" work in the Welland Canal consultations.

The Government even provided $100,988 in one year to hold community meetings in Six Nations along with most council members and Confederacy Chiefs receiving direct payments from the Government. It appears that not only did native protesters receive money but others including McMaster First Nations Student Association received $3,486.10.

In one year Six Nations received $123,306 for advertising, printing and website development in connection with ongoing negotiations.

In the book Disrobing the Aboriginal Industry by Frances Widdowson and Albert Howard, they present the well researched argument that Land Claims, native protests, etc. have become big business where lawyers, negotiators, consultants and others are making money while real issues of child care, health care, education receive little.

There is little doubt that if you want to collect a paycheque from the Ontario government the quickest way is to block construction and claim to be a land protector. Use stolen property, like a hydro tower, and pull it across the road to net yourself additional income.

Even when you are charged you can be assured special treatment by receiving reference letters from the OPP and special deals. Camille Powless testified in a Welland court that she filed a charge against me in order to get her brother a deal with the OPP. Brian Skye's lawyer, in Cayuga Court, recently suggested that Mr. Skye had a special relationship with the OPP.

When I attempted to lay charges against Mr. Skye for blocking the highway for 4 days in April 2008 the Crown mislead the court and stated the OPP had already filed charges against Mr. Skye. It wasn't until OPP Officer Carter confirmed in March 2010 that Mr. Skye was never charged. In a recent conversation with OPP Officer Watson he claimed there was insufficient evidence to charge Mr. Skye.

However, numerous photos and a youtube video produced by Mr. Skye shows he was the leader involved in blocking the road for 4 days.

I guess when you threaten violence, receive payments from the Government and have a relationship with the OPP you can be assured that you receive special treatment.

Is there any wonder why land claim negotiations go on for years when so many people, including the protesters, are making money from them?