CUPE Ontario sends its solidarity to Indigenous Land Defenders at 1492 Land Back Lane from Six Nations who are reclaiming land along the Haldimand Tract, south of Caledonia.
Six Nations was given the land after their alliance with the British during the American Revolution, but the land was sold to developers, McKenzie Meadows, where they intend to build a housing subdivision.
While this land is still under dispute, the Canadian state has responded with an injunction, upheld by unacceptable state-sanctioned violence and the arrest of Land Defenders and supporters.
As a union, made up of Indigenous members and allies alike, we need to oppose these acts – and we must be in solidarity with Land Defenders. We cannot simultaneously recognize the land on which we live and gather as being traditional Indigenous territory while criminalizing Land Defenders who are asserting their right to their traditional territory.
We condemn the violence and the state surveillance Land Defenders are being subjected to at 1492 Land Back Lane. There must be a moratorium on further development of the Haldimand Tract until proper proceedings have taken place. And the Canadian state must come to the table to engage in negotiations, while considering the principle of justice.
There are also charges remaining against Land Defenders and supporters, many of whom are Indigenous. Those who are able can support their legal fund here: https://ca.gofundme.com/f/legal-fund-1492-land-back-lane
Reconciliation can only occur when there is justice. The ongoing colonial violence against Indigenous people must be opposed through collective action. Union members, who understand the principles of equity, are natural allies in struggles like these.
It’s time to send a strong message of support for Land Defenders at 1492 Land Back Lane.