On February 28, on the second anniversary of the start of the Six Nations land reclamation at Caledonia, McMaster University was the site of the important event, “The Land Reclamation at Caledonia/Kanonhstaton: Two Years Later...” The day-long event brought together many of the major figures of this historic and ongoing struggle. The following is a brief summary of the first part of the event.
The event began with an extended preview of the new documentary, “The Dish With One Spoon” co-directed by Dawn Martin-Hill, academic director at McMaster's Indigenous Studies program and long time Six Nations activist. The documentary aims to inform the public on the history of the Six Nations, on the key treaties signed between the Six Nations and the British Crown, the long list of broken treaties and historic injustices committed by the Canadian government as well as on the contemporary struggle at Caledonia. Viewers will be struck by the blatant theft of Six Nations land and funds by the Canadian government, the deep racism that the current struggle has brought to the surface of this supposedly multicultural and peaceful country and the peaceful determination of the Six Nations to continue to struggle according to the principles of their constitution, the Great Law of Peace.
Janie Jamieson, one of the initiators of the land reclamation spoke following the film. She emphasized that she chose to fight back after “being backed into a corner” by the poverty and violence experienced in her life as a Six Nations woman and that she is “fighting for our right to exist” as a people. She stressed that this struggle is not only the struggle of the Six Nations but of all people who wish to stop the damage being done to the environment.
Speaking of the divisions that exist within the Six Nations, she said that “struggle creates unity” and that this struggle “made us realize what we are capable of.”