By Karl Dockstader, a Niagara resident and member of the local Indigenous community
(The following post orginally appeared on Karl Dockstader’s Facebook site. A link to the site is included below.)
Posted August 19th, 2016 on Niagara At Large
Niagara, Ontario – The Treaty of Niagara 1764 is the ratification of the general principles of the Royal Proclamation of 1763.
The principles of these agreements acknowledge that agreements between Indigenous governments and Canadian or Crown officials have some terms which fall outside of Canadian law.
This is why the symbolic use of wampum and oral custom is important. In order to honour the principles of these agreements governments have to uphold the honour of the crown and act in accordance with the principles of the covenant chain.
Niagara, specific to the Treaty, was acknowledged for the importance of its resources to Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee and British people alike. This is where the principles of the Dish with One Spoon, an agreement to keep resources held as commons, came into play.
It was to be understood that the resources were to be shared. Nobody could drink the last drop from the kettle without being sure it would be replenished. I contend that:
- *By altering large portions of an interconnected slough forested wetland complex it risks the integrity of the complex and the adjacent areas, including waterways and the Niagara River which is less than four miles from the point of the development furthest from the river
- *Therefore, it opposes the terms of the Treaty of Niagara by ignoring the principles of the Dish with One Spoon and invalidates the developers ability to act within the responsibilities of the honour of the crown.
- *And; Therefore it is in opposition to the hunting resource Treaties including but not limited to the Treaty of Nanfan.
It would be dishonourable to proceed with this development as planned.
It directly opposes the inherent right of occupants of this territory to expect governments to work within the terms of existing Treaty arrangements.
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