Oneida land defender Trevor Bomberry charged by police in struggle to reclaim territory used as municipal golf course

Published by Brent Patterson on

Photo: The camp on December 22, 2021. Photo by Brian Thompson/The Expositor.

On January 13, Global News reported: “A Six Nations of the Grand River resident who’s been a figurehead in an occupation at a now-closed Brantford municipal golf course is facing charges, according to police.”

That article adds: “Trevor Bomberry, 48, is facing two charges: break and enter plus public mischief.”

There will be a court hearing on this on January 20 to set dates.

On October 9, Six Nations land defenders began a re-occupation of the Arrowdale Golf Course in Brantford, Ontario.

At that time, Bomberry said: “This is our land. Mostly all of Brantford belongs to our people. It’s been stolen.”

He has also stated: “An archeological study was done here finding bones, arrowheads and pottery.”

And he noted: “Unfortunately, the city has been using our hunting grounds as a golf course and putting buildings on it without the consent of my people.”

The land occupation was ended on December 31 after “it was decided in good faith to pull back efforts directly on the frontline in an attempt for this to be honourably settled within the courts.” The full statement on this from the Arrowdale Land Defenders can be read here.

The land falls within the Haldimand Tract, which includes 10 kilometres on either side of the Grand River. The 950,000-acre parcel of land was granted to Six Nations of the Grand River in 1784 for allying with the British in the American Revolution.

In April 2021, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council, the traditional government of the Six Nations, called for a moratorium on development of the area.

In December 2019, the City of Brantford decided to close the golf course and put some of the land up for sale.

Bomberry has countered: “I don’t know how they can sell something that doesn’t belong to them in the first damn place.”

Veronica Martisius of the local activist group Know Your City Inc., also says: “[The City doesn’t] have the consent of the Six Nations people to sell these lands, to develop these lands, and the land should stay as it is and the city should reconsider its decision.”

The City says: “The broader matter of Indigenous land claims is a complex issue and one that is not within the city of Brantford’s jurisdiction to resolve.” Nevertheless, the City has maintained that the occupation was “unlawful.”

The Six Nations of the Grand River launched a court case in 1995 on the title to these lands. It is scheduled to go to court in October of this year.

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