LAAUW sent the below copied letter to the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Indigenous Services; the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations; and the Honourable Greg Rickford, Minister of Indigenous Affairs, carbon copied to Mr. Toby Barrett, MPP, Haldimand-Norfolk, Ms. Bardish Chagger, MP, Waterloo, Mr. Bernie Corbett (Board Chair), Haldimand County Police Services Board, Ms. Catherine Fife MPP, Waterloo, Ms. Diane Finley, MP, Haldimand-Norfolk.
Dear Minister Miller, Minister Bennett and Minister Rickford,
As an act of organizational accountability and in response to Treaties Recognition Week, the Librarians' and Archivists' Association of the University of Waterloo wishes to express its support for the organizers behind 1492 Land Back Lane.
The members of LAAUW live and work on the Haldimand Tract, land promised to the Six Nations in 1784 for allying with the British during the American Revolution. It includes six miles on each side of the Grand River. The relationship with the Haldimand Tract is acknowledged in member email signatures and has been a part of LAAUW meetings since 2018, but LAAUW understands that land acknowledgements have little meaning if they are not followed by action.
Today less than 5% of the Haldimand Tract remains under the care of the Six Nations. As outlined in Land Rights: A Global Solution to for the Six Nations of the Grand River, the vast majority of the original 950,000 acres has been sold or transferred with the approval of provincial and federal officials without due compensation, consultation or respect for the terms of the Haldimand Treaty of 1784.
Six Nations land defenders are acting to protect their treaty rights that have to date been ignored, circumvented and stalled by Canadian governments and courts. LAAUW recognizes their inherent right to Haldimand Tract land and supports the actions being taken to have those rights recognized after decades of inaction and dismissal by Canadian officials.
We therefore amplify the requests of 1492 Land Back Lane by calling for the following:
- For the Attorney General of Ontario to drop all charges against Land Defenders, journalists & supporters of 1492 Land Back Lane.
- For the Province of Ontario to develop a “policy prohibiting the use of injunctions on Indigenous people in cases of disputes over land use”.
- For the 1492 Land Back Lane site to remain under Haudenosaunee control and for broader Haudenosaunee sovereignty over the Haldimand Tract.
- For the Federal Government to take responsibility for upholding land & Treaty rights in a manner that respects Indigenous Peoples’ sovereignty.
Thank you for your attention to this matter,
The Librarians’ and Archivists’ Association of the University of Waterloo
N.B. This letter is not endorsed by, nor does it speak on behalf of the University of Waterloo Library.