Chippewa of Thames chief backs traditional council in Six Nations area blockade

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Chippewas of the Thames First Nation Chief Myeengun Henry joined demonstrators near Caledonia on Wednesday to show his support for an indigenous group blockading one of the area’s major roads.

Supporting our brothers and sisters in Caledonia

— Myeengun Henry (@myeengun) August 17, 2017

Members of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy barricaded Argyle Street South on Aug. 10.

“They just want to be treated with respect in any government relationship,” Henry said. “You have an elected council in Six Nations and then a Haudenosaunee traditional council and they both balance each other out, but when the government only deals with one and sides with one, then the other one feels left out.

Six Nations, the community of First Nations near Caledonia, has an elected council. Haudenosaunee Confederacy chiefs are chosen by clan mothers, a position that itself is hereditary, according to the group’s website.

The Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council and the Six Nations elected council disagree over the use of the former Burtch Correctional Centre site, which was given to the Six Nations following a blockade of the same road in 2006.

The chiefs council has managed the land since its rights were passed to the Six Nations.

The protesters are objecting to the elected council planning for the future of the land.

Norfolk OPP said the road remained blocked on Thursday.

“We’re asking everyone involved or affected by the process to remain calm and patient,” Norfolk OPP Const. Ed Sanchuk said.

“If I need to go back up there, I’ll be up there in a minute,” Henry said.

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