Demonstrators vow to maintain blockade for 'as long as it takes'
Ryan Flanagan, CTV Kitchener
Published Friday, August 11, 2017 6:00PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, August 11, 2017 7:04PM EDT
Friday marked the second straight day of protesters blocking off one of the main roads into Caledonia.
“We’re still here, and we’re staying here as long as it takes,” said Doreen Silversmith, one of several protesters who spent the day at the Argyle Street blockade.
The site carries a lot of significance in the area, as it’s the same spot blocked for several weeks during the 2006 dispute over the Douglas Creek Estates.
The protesters are supporters of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council, who are backing Kristine Hill.
Hill has been farming on the Burtch lands, a Brant County property that once housed a correctional facility, for the past three years.
Earlier this year, the province turned the land over to a corporation controlled by the Six Nations elected council – which has been working to evict Hill.
That case has been making its way through the court system. It was most recently in court Thursday, for a hearing on a contempt of court motion alleging Hill was on the property after being told to stay off it. That hearing was adjourned with no decision made.
The chiefs council says the Burtch lands were supposed to be given to them, instead of the elected council, as part of the resolution of the 2006 land dispute.
The protesters have demanded that the elected council stop pursuing legal action against Hill, that the Burtch lands are returned to the Haudenosaunee council, and that the provincial and federal governments return to negotiations with the Haudenosaunee council.
Through her lawyer, Hill told CTV News that she was not involved in the blockade and had nothing to do with its formation.
Police say they’re monitoring the situation closely.
“We’re working with the groups involved, and we’re just asking the public to remain calm and patient while we work through this,” OPP Const. Rod LeClair told reporters.
With reporting by Nicole Lampa