TORONTO, May 2, 2006 - The Canadian Race Relations Foundation (CRRF) welcomes the appointment of former Ontario Premier, David Peterson to help in reaching a resolution to some of the inter-community conflict in Caledonia. According to a news release by the Ontario Government, Mr. Peterson will be the "Provincial Lead to help find solutions to immediate problems in Caledonia."
"We hope that a significant part of Mr. Peterson's efforts will lead to the non-native community getting a better understanding and appreciation of treaties and land claims issues," notes Paul Winn, the Interim Chief Operating Officer of the CRRF. "Once this dispute is resolved, there will be a need for these neighbours - the Six Nations and Caledonia residents - to restore what was a peaceful co-existence before the blockade began. The recent demonstrations against the blockade have been heavily tinged with racism. It is a significant weakness of our education system that these matters are not taught in schools, particularly when they are such and integral part of our history.
"It is important that Canadians realize that these treaties were entered into as formal agreements with the First Nations - the original peoples who inhabited this land before the European settlers. Those treaties were based on trust. Canadians over the years have violated that trust and it is up to us to try and rebuild that trust," added Winn.