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Haldimand Tract

February 4, 2008

Haldimand Tract

Haldimand Tract

This map show the Haldimand Tract (aka Grand River Territory), granted to the Six Nations Confederacy in 1784, and the current Six Nations reserve.

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If we continue to debate the

If we continue to debate the legitimacy of any document to which none of us were witness, we will get nowhere. I think that what has been done to First Nations people is not acceptable. Please forgive my ignorance, but I am of the understanding that the Six Nations people came together after burying their weapons under the Peace Tree. If they could do that then, why can we not do this now? Many wrongs have been done, and more wrongs will not make any of it right. When I look at people, I see a human - not a race, creed, religion, etc. We, as humans, have to come together peacefully to solve the issues that will shape our futures. We have much to learn from each other. I believe the meaning of the Two Row Wampum is that the white is the river, and the blue signifies two canoes going along peacefully side by side (forgive me again if I am wrong). We can peacefully co-exist, and respect each others cultures, traditions and laws. I think that intolerance is borne of ignorance. We have to teach each other, and learn from each other. I am of Scottish descent. I don't condone what my ancestors did. But, nor can I undo it. Can we all come to this with open hearts and eyes, with some sense of humility? I want to be proud of what we leave to our children.

A Little Six Nations History

I have done extensive research into the History of the Six Nations of the Grand River.

1) For Centuries the Five (later Six) Nations homeland was in what is in now upper New York State, USA.

2) Before Governor Haldimand issued his proclamation, what is now southwestern Ontario was part of the British Province of Quebec created in 1774 under the Quebec Act after the French and Indian War.

3)On May 22, 1784, before Haldimand issued his proclamation, the British purchased a huge section of what was then a part of Quebec, now southwestern Ontario, from the Mississauga Indians and Ojibwa people who lived in the area.

4)Then, on October 25, 1784, Haldimand issued his Proclamation allowing Mohawk leader Joseph Brant and his Six Nations' followers to move from the "American States" to occupy a strip of British territory six miles wide on each side of the Grand River from mouth to source, near Dundalk, Ontario.

5) The Haldimand Proclamation was not a treaty. It was a unilateral announcement from an agent of the Crown, the Governor. It was signed only by Haldimand and not by any Six Nations person. It was never properly sealed with the Great seal, it was not finalized and it mistakenly allowed Six Nations people to occupy land at the north end of the Grand River that the British had not purchased from the Mississauga Indians.

6) In 1793, Governor John Graves Simcoe corrected Halidmand's mistake and issed a letter patent in which he allowed the Six Nations to occupy the land six miles wide on each side of the Grand River from its mouth at Lake Erie to the northern boundary of the land the British had purchased from the Mississauga Indians in 1784. If he hadn't, the Mississauga Indians could have claimed the Crown stole their land.

7)In 1796, Chiefs from the Six Nations of the Grand River provided Joseph Brant with an actual power of attorney to sell land. In 1798, Brant sold about 350,000 acres of land north of Brantford to white settlers. Brant actually encouraged white settlers into the area because he thought they could teach Six Nations' people modern farming techniques. Later, his son John Brant, who was the Indian agent in his time, did the same sort of thing.

8)Eventually, 45 Chiefs from the Six Nations of the Grand River agreed in 1844 to accept the reserve south of Brantford and agreed to allow the Crown to sell land the Six Nations had not already relinquished outside of the reserve. Samuel Jarvis was not involved and did not sign that agreement.

At the end of the agreement, it says "We certify that the Six Nations now present gave the foregoing as their unanimous answer to the commissioner each paragraph having been put to them by their Interpreter Jacob Martin". Jacob Martin was a member of the Six Nations. The agreement was then signed by David Thorburn the Commissioner of Indian affairs, James (Jas) Winniett the Indian Agent at that time and by 45 Chiefs from the Six Nations of the Grand River.

People should very careful making statements about the circumstances unless they are very faminliar with the history.

People should also ask: why would 45 learned Chiefs from the Six Nations of the Grand river sign a document like the 1844 agreement, after examining it paragraph by paragraph with their interpreter, if they did not agree with the content of the document?

Garry Horsnell, Brantford

The purported 1844 document

The purported 1844 document is bogus in that the people from Six Nations who signed it were not Chiefs or principle men of Six Nations, more than half of them were in New York at the time this was supposed to have been signed and there was no community meeting - all requirements of the Royal Proclamation 1763. As well, the Six Nations' men's signatures on the document are all x's despite the fact that at that time Six Nations men were not only keeping and reading minutes of their meetings in Mohawk, but were converting them to English. Why would literate men sign with illegible signatures, if they were fluent bilingual speakers and writers?

There is a long history of documents that show that Six Nations was not willing to sell and land, and that William Jarvis the Superintendent of Indian Affairs who was responsible for producing the 1844, was a crook, having stolen millions of dollars from Six Nations trust over the years he was in charge of it. This is just another in a long line of frauds perpetrated against the natives. IF the 1844 document was valid, there would have been a long list of minutes recorded by both sides. That is glaringly missing from all the supporting documents.

The 1844 surrender document is bogus.

The Indians signed a

The Indians signed a surrender of the majority of the lands in the Haldimand Tract in 1841, so no valid claims exist.

To those who espouse the return of these lands to the Indians, what do you propose to do with the millions of Canadians who now occupy these lands? They will be displaced and become refugees in their own country. Will they be compensated for loss of homes that they worked hard to pay for and the accompanying loss of employment as well? This compensation could reach into the trillions of dollars or do you feel that they don't deserve to be treated fairly either?Are you willing to open your homes to these refugees, your fellow Canadians? I doubt it.

Make the occupiers refugees? Good idea!

A corrupt minority of our leadership was pushed into a paper dealing by a devious and zealously militarisitic colonial. The original Haldimand and Simcoe intent was that we should honor the land and our use of it in our traditional ways which have NOTHING to do with corrupt paper dealings. Evict the non-indigenous genetic material that is not invited to stay on, and do so on an individual basis as decided by our Mothers. This is out traditional way of managing our lands. We have told you many times what you can do with your dirty papers. Get off our lands.

Haldimand Tract

You would seriously think that after all the things this country has gone through, we would take the time to STOP and think twice before giving this kind of land away. If not only for moral reasons, think about the environmental concern...

Haldimand Tract

I think it is absolutely criminal that the Ontario government as well as local municipalities (e.g. Brantford) continue to issue development licenses to developers on what is clearly Six Nations land, even while their own courts have accepted the legitimacy of the aboriginal claims for these lands and are currently hearing those cases (which are moving at a snail's pace - not surprising, given the amount of financial return these lands represent.)

Given the tiny percentage of the Haldimand Tract that remains undeveloped, it would be nice to see some white people of influence and conscience, take up the cause of preserving this land for the discretion of the Aboriginals, who throughout their history have shown nothing but the utmost respect for Mother Nature. After all, its only what their honorable forefathers intended in written documents and treaties - aboriginal control of the Haldimand Tract, in order to live their lives according to their culture, which unfortunately for them does not include unfetterd development and the pursuit of a consumer-driven lifestyle.

re: Haldimand Tract

The Two Row Wampum Unity and Education group (TRUE) in Brantford is a group of settler descendants who are trying to educate other descendants about Six Nations "land claims" (really treaty violations by the government, etc.)

Haldimand Proclamation

Has anyone ever looked into the legality of the Haldimand Tract agreement?
It was never endorsed by any other than Frederick Haldimand himself.
The King of England George the 3rd has never agreed to this
and was never under the Great Seal
Hence no legal claims


I am an academic, originally from the US, currently living in Sudbury. My husband is Anishnaabe, also an academic, and we have many friends from Six Nations, so it is natural for me to support this. For another reason, however, I feel it necessary to speak out. Many Mennonite people settled in the disputed region both prior to 1784 and following the US Revolution, coming there to escape from that war. I was raised Mennonite in the States, and am not aware of any apology that Church has made for living on "stolen land". So I feel a need to say my small apology, although I cannot speak on anyone else's behalf.
Thank you. Annie E. Wenger-Nabigon

You have no need or place to

You have no need or place to apologies on the behalf of Mennonites. You are not their spokesperson and they are not and did not ever reside on "stolen land". They legally purchased the land.

The Haldimmand Tract/1784

I am in support of The Haldimand Tract Agreement of 1784. The present day Canadian Government needs to follow this agreement and update it in favour of The Six Nations. I am an Anglophone.

Haldimand Tract Agreement of 1784

The above noted "Agreement" does not exist. Haldimand arranged a purchase of land in 1784 for Loyalists and aboriginal supporters from the American Revolutionary War. He proclaimed a section of this for the Six Nations to occupy under a license of occupation-not ownership. The description of the purchase was geographically incorrect and his successor Simcoe repurchased it with geographic certainty and laid out the terms of Six Nations settlement. Haldimand never legalized his "Proclamation" properly and the seal of his office was not attached until 1834.It is the Simcoe"Proclamation" that has the weight of law. There was no treaty or agreement. The Canadian Law Courts have repeatedly ignored "Haldimand" and have said that while both have the same purpose and intent, "Simcoe" is the valid and ruling document.In 1791 Brant and the Chiefs agreed that the "6 miles from the bank of the River" was not feasible for surveys,and agreed that the "6 miles" be from a median line from the" dog leg" northerly turn of the River to Brantford.The Head Waters of the River were in Chippewa land not Mississauga hence not purchased in 1784 or by Simcoe.

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