Niagara Regional Police Honour the Treaties - STOP the barricade at Short Hills
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For the past five years, in accordance with the Canadian Constitution, Indigenous hunters (Haudenosaunee, Six Nations of the Grand River Territory) have exercised their legal treaty rights to hunt white-tailed deer at Short Hills Provincial Park, located in the Niagara Region of Southern Ontario. However, a group of local residence in opposition to the hunt, have put up a physical barricade blocking Haudenosaunee hunters from having direct access into, and out of, their traditional hunting territory. To interfere with treaty rights is an act of colonial violence and racism under the United Nations international convention on the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination (January 4 1969).
The anti-hunt protesters have established a vehicle stall that is supervised by the Niagara Regional Police Services (NRPS) and the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP). During the “stall”, anti-hunt protesters surround hunters’ vehicles, aim their flashlights into the faces of Haudenosaunee drivers and their passengers, record license plates, count off the occupants, and call out various derogatory statements.
During this time, children and their family / community members are subjected to being called “murderers, savages, killers, criminals, disgusting” and are subjected to protester signs such as “shame”, “suicide”, “this is a park not a killing field”, “stop the slaughter”, “not in our park”, “these are our deer”, “murder is murder” etc. On November 12, 2017 anti-hunt protesters are documented to have played on their stereo “The Dickhead Song” by Miles Bitterman. This violent expression of hate speech includes lyrics such as:
“You're a d*ckhead, I hope you'll soon be dead
And this is payback time for what you put me through
The way you behaved was a total disgrace
I'd never grow tired of punching your face
You think that putting me down lifts you higher
I wouldn't piss on you if you were on fire
God will punish you cos you reap what you sow
You're a vile individual from head to toe
Nasty to the bone unpleasant to the core
I shall drink champagne when you are no more
You're simply jealous of me but I couldn't care less
Cos I have all the qualities you'll never possess
I'd hate to go through life as you 24/7
Cos people like you don't end up in Heaven
You will rot in Hell that's where you belong
And when you get there they'll be singing this song
The Supporters of Haudenosaunee Right to Hunt recognize and acknowledge that Canadians do have the right to freedom of assembly and freedom of expression. This right does not extend to the breaking of international covenants to which Canada is a signatory. Regardless the stated position of the protesters, it is improper for police personnel to support anti-hunt protester actions by allowing this barricade and forcing the hunters and their family members to be subjected to this racist settler-harassment. This interference by protesters is a violation of the UN Convention and, by allowing the protesters to barricade hunters, the police seem to be choosing sides between the Haudenosaunee and white, anti-hunt protesters.
The obvious solution is to remove the anti-protesters from the barricade, allowing protesters to protest off to the side of the road which is opposite the park entrance. This solution satisfies the interests of the protesters to be seen and heard and it removes the infraction of the UN Convention on Racial Discrimination.
Haudenosaunee are doing nothing wrong. In fact, they are exercising their legal rights as outlined in Section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982 which “recognizes and affirms existing Aboriginal and treaty rights of Aboriginal Peoples of Canada”. The Supporters of Haudenosaunee Right to Hunt request this solution be implemented immediately. In this time of Reconciliation, it is a step backward for police services to support settler interference in a Treaty Right.
The results of this petition will be delivered to the NRPS and the OPP. The Supporters of Haudenosaunee Right to Hunt insist that the illegal barricade be dismantled and that anti-hunt protesters be prohibited from interfering with Haudenosaunee access to the park.
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