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Chedoke Cleanup in limbo

Province refuses to get involved in first nations dispute

There will be no cleanup of Chedoke Creek this year, and probably no work until next spring, the Public Works Committee learned Thursday. City water staff took council through a detailed explanation of the four-year, 24-billion-litre sewage spill sewage spill that was revealed in 2019. The Ministry of the Environment had ordered the creek to be dredged by December 31 this year, but has agreed to an extension made necessary by on-site protests by the Haudenosaunee Development Institute (HDI) who blocked dredging efforts.

Water Director Nick Winters was asked how relations with Haudenosaunee Development Institute (HDI) which represent hereditary chiefs, compares with those from elected Indigenous groups, including the Mississaugas of the Credit and Huron-Wendat First Nations — as well as the elected Six Nations government.

Dundas Councillor Alex Wilson suggested the HCI demands for money were due to the fact that unlike other indigenous groups they receive no money from Ottawa.

To underscore the difference between the city’s relations between elected indigenous groups and HDI, Six Nations of the Grand elected Chief Mark Hill addressed the committee, offering his full support for the cleanup but acknowledging “what he termed “internal governance issues” in his community. Similar issues were on display in Caledonia, where Hill’s elected council had come to an agreement with the developer of a subdivision in that town; only to have the land occupied by indigenous activists who refused to recognize the legitimacy of the agreement.

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