Native activist cites ‘treason’

Native activist cites ‘treason’

November 08, 2007
Paul Legall
The Hamilton Spectator
Cayuga (Nov 8, 2007)

A native activist facing attempted murder and other serious charges in the hijacking of an undercover police van has accused the Canadian government of “high treason” against aboriginal people.

“I’m here by force and under duress,” Albert Kirk Douglas, 32, told the justice of the peace in Cayuga court yesterday.

He said the Canadian government has no jurisdiction over his people, whom he identified as signatories of the original treaties with the British Crown. “It is imperative that this court understand that our jurisdiction extends to wherever our language, Kanienkeha (Mohawk), is spoken,” he said.

As a signatory Indian, he considers himself subject only to the sovereign laws of the clan mothers, “recognized by all international law.”

“Should the officers of this court continue assuming jurisdiction in this matter, it would constitute the crime of high treason,” he warned.

The justice of the peace replied that other native protesters had recently advanced similar arguments in Cayuga court and the judge had ruled Canadian criminal law applied to everybody.

“None of those Indians were signatories,” Douglas interjected.

Douglas, in custody since Sept. 27, was remanded in custody until Nov. 14.

The attempted murder charge stems from the hijacking of a U.S. border patrol surveillance van at Douglas Creek Estates on June 9, 2006. The occupants of the vehicle, which included OPP officers and U.S. law enforcement agents, had been taking pictures of native protesters at the site.

It is alleged that a group of protesters, including Douglas, took over the vehicle, forced the occupants out and tried to back over a semiconscious OPP officer who had collapsed on the street.

Douglas is also charged with robbery and assault in relation to an attack on two TV cameramen in the Canadian Tire parking lot in Caledonia the same day. He also has outstanding charges of obstructing and assaulting police for allegedly putting up a fight when he was arrested with 15 other protesters at Douglas Creek Estates April 20, 2006.

He was wanted on a Canada-wide warrant when he was arrested Sept. 27 during a routine traffic stop on Highway 401 at Morrisburg.

Nine native protesters, arrested at the Stirling Woods subdivision in Caledonia on Sept. 19, also made an appearance in Cayuga court yesterday. They were all remanded out of custody until their next court appearance on Dec. 5. They were charged with mischief for refusing to leave the property and with assaulting police to resist arrest after heavily armed OPP officers went onto the property and arrested them.

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