Six Nations own booklet denies Plank Road claim

Letter - The Regional

January 5, 2011

I have been researching Six Nations history as well as information about the Douglas Creek Estates (DCE) land in Caledonia along the Plank Road (now Highway 6) between Hamilton and Port Dover.

The Six Nations booklet called "Land rights, Financial Justice, Creative Solutions" lists many Six Nations claims. Under Claim 16 about Oneida Township, it says "June 24, 1842 - In a petition of the Chiefs of the Six Nations, they reserved for their future residence all the lands on the south side of the Grand River lying between the Township of Cayuga and Burtch's Landing (includes Oneida Township) except a tier of lots on each side of the contemplated Plank Road and on the north side of the Grand River, land presently occupied by the Six Nations".

So, it seems the Six Nations chiefs were willing to give up the land on each side of the Plank Road at least as early as June 24,1842.

In addition, I recently obtained from Library and Archives Canada an October 4, 1843 report from the Committee of the Executive Council. That report is from the RG 10 series, Volume 717, pages 232 to 238 on microfilm reel C 13411.

The 4th item in that report says "The Chiefs further represent that they are desirous that the reservation for their future residence be on the south side of the Grand River of all of the lands excepting a tier of lots on each side of the contemplated Plank road leading from Hamilton to Port Dover."

That seems to confirm the information in the June 24, 1843 petition from the Six Nations chiefs and suggests the Six Nations chiefs were willing to give up the land on each side of the Plank Road in 1842.

In addition, the Canadian federal government has said the Six Nations gave up the land along the plank road for sale.

So, if the Six Nations' own claims booklet, the 1843 report from the Committee of Executive Council and the federal government all say the Six Nations chiefs wanted land except the land on each side of the Plank Road, which would include the DCE land, why did Six Nations activists take over 'reclaim' the DCE land?

Why did the Ontario government rush to buy the DECE land before conferring with the federal government about the history?

And, given the history, what should now happen with that DCE land?

Gary Horsnell,

Brantford