Two Six Nations People Arrested, Deal Off Between Developers and Chiefs

Judge releases 15-year-old on bail
Teen involved in Caledonia protests faces assault charge in beating incident

September 29, 2007
Paul Legall
The Hamilton Spectator

A 15-year-old native protester was released on $5,000 bail yesterday for his alleged role in an incident that landed a Caledonia house builder in the hospital with a fractured skull and other serious injuries.

He is charged with assault, break and enter and uttering threats.

Justice of the Peace Janice Jukes expressed concern for public safety after hearing the allegations against the teenager and two other protesters who were alleged to be involved in the attack on 52-year-old Sam Gualtieri at the Stirling Woods building site in Caledonia on Sept. 13.

Gualtieri, who was allegedly attacked with a club, suffered facial injuries, a broken scapula and two fractures to the skull. He spent five days in hospital, including three days in intensive care at Hamilton General Hospital.

“The accused is a very young person,” Jukes noted before imposing a number of strict bail conditions on the tall lanky teenager, who had also participated in the native occupation of Douglas Creek Estates.

“Young people can be impetuous and drawn to the excitement (of the protest). That’s a concern for the court. The incident he is alleged to have played a role in is a very serious event,” she added.

As part of his bail conditions, he must attend school regularly, keep away from Stirling Woods and reside with a woman who pledged $5,000 to secure his release. He’s prohibited from owning firearms, ammunition and explosives and can’t have any contact with the victims, including a construction worker he allegedly assaulted. He must return to court on Oct. 17.

The teenager, who can’t be identified, had surrendered to Haldimand OPP the previous day and was wearing a dark hoodie with a picture of a Mohawk warrior emblazoned on the front as he stood quietly in the prisoner’s box during his bail hearing in Cayuga court.

During the hearing, Crown prosecutor Shane Hickingbottom provided the first detailed police version of the attack, which has been mired in controversy and conflicting stories from the start.

He said the incident started at about 4 p.m. when Gualtieri and three of his workers went to check a house he was building for his daughter and her fiancee. He was concerned because the site had become the subject of a land claims dispute and he had seen a protester hoisting a Six Nations flag by the house earlier in the day.

Inside the partially constructed building, Hickingbottom said, Gualtieri and his workers were confronted by three young intruders who refused to leave, swore at them and challenged the builder to a fight.

During the ensuing melee, the prosecutor alleged, the 15-year-old put a headlock on one of the workers and applied so much pressure he had difficulty breathing. He eventually let him go but later allegedly said, “I should have broken your neck while I had the chance.”

There is no allegation that he directly attacked Sam Gualtieri, who became involved in an altercation with another suspect.

Hickingbottom said one of the workers saw another teenager — wanted on a warrant for aggravated assault — striking Gualtieri on the head with a wooden club. The worker yelled at the man who fled the scene. By this time, a number of other protesters had gathered around the house, including a native elder who helped defuse the incident by ordering the alleged assailants to leave.

The third suspect, who faces an assault charge, was allegedly involved in a struggle with another construction worker.

Warrants are still outstanding for Richard Smoke, 18, for aggravated assault and break and enter, and Byron Powless, 18, for assault and break and enter.


Fugitive faces charges in Caledonia hijacking

September 29, 2007
The Hamilton Spectator

A 31-year-old fugitive who was arrested on a traffic warrant near Morrisburg Thursday is facing dozens of criminal charges, including attempted murder, in connection with the hijacking of a U.S. border patrol vehicle in Caledonia last year.

During the June 9, 2006 incident, a group of native protesters from Douglas Creek Estates swarmed the unmarked vehicle and threw out the three occupants, two OPP officers and a U.S. border agent, then drove it away. Witnesses say one of the hijackers attempted to drive over an OPP officer who had fallen down beside the vehicle.

Albert Douglas, of Ohsweken, who was arrested on a warrant issued last year, made a brief appearance before justice of the peace Janice Jukes yesterday. He was remanded in custody until his bail hearing on Monday.

He stood quietly in the prisoner’s box as the clerk read out the 30 charges he now faces in connection with the June 9 incident and a separate incident at Douglas Creek Estates on April 20, 2006, when he was charged with assaulting police.

The charges include counts of forcible confinement, assault, robbery, attempted murder, theft of a vehicle, theft with violence, theft of a vehicle with violence, dangerous driving, failing to comply with recognizance, leaving the scene of an accident and failing to attend court.


No new deal between Six Nations, developers

October 01, 2007
Dana Brown
The Hamilton Spectator

There are no plans to hammer out a new deal after a potential agreement between the Six Nations traditional government and two Caledonia developers fell through.

Last week, a draft agreement between the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council and the two developers of the Stirling Woods subdivision fell through over a condition that required the council be given jurisdiction over the land.

“That was the major issue,” said developer John Kragten. “Really, in fact, was probably the only issue why it fell apart.”

Native protesters occupied the site last month, claiming the new housing development was being built on Six Nations land. A potential agreement was reached shortly after.

The initial draft, sent by council lawyer Aaron Detlor, sets out 10 terms, including the jurisdiction item, to be agreed to by the developers.

The terms include ensuring that Venture Homes Ltd. does not construct a bridge for automobile traffic at the end of Stirling Street over the railway but that they do take all “reasonable steps” to provide for the construction of a bridge for pedestrian traffic.

Venture Homes also had to agree not to develop a parcel of land west of Stirling across the railway, as well as recognize a “no-go zone” for development.

The no-go zone would include land southwest of the Grand River and Highway 6 that fell under council jurisdiction and couldn’t be developed without its consent.

In addition, the draft says Venture Homes will take reasonable steps to support the efforts of the Haudenosaunee Development Institute by giving a public affirmation of its efficacy.

The institute is a new body recently created to oversee development on land the Six Nations say is theirs.

Throughout the document, the developer is referred to as Venture Homes Ltd., although the registered developer of the land is a numbered company. Venture is the company of one of the partners of the numbered company.

A response to the draft, sent by the developers’ lawyers, said the developers agreed to six terms and pointed out that they had no ownership over some of the lands mentioned in the initial document. It also pointed out the agreement had to be with the numbered company, not Venture.

Detlor said any construction that now goes forward on the land will not be in accordance with the law.

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