SIX NATIONS NEGOTIATIONS
'Deal' really just a framework for more discussion
Gov't: 'Full co-operation' of Six Nations needed
According to a spokesperson for Indian and Northern Affairs, Canada is waiting on Six Nations to complete its responsibilities before flowing funding to the band to help with land negotiations.
At a news conference held Thursday by the Six Nations Confederacy, the group accused Canada of slowing the process of the three-year negotiations by refusing to settle on a facilitator-mediator and not funding the natives at the table for the last six months.
The federal government weighed in on those accusations Friday, saying it's still trying to settle on someone for the important facilitator-mediator job.
"After careful consideration, a response will be forthcoming," promised Patricia Valladao, the senior communications advisor for the ministry.
Valladao declined to comment on the names of any potential candidates but promised the issue is being discussed.
As far as funding goes, the Confederacy said this week that no one working on the negotiation process has been paid for six months and the group has had to lay off three of its five-member staff.
But Valladao said funding requires "the full co-operation and best efforts of all parties."
She said funds would not be forthcoming until the government gets a First Nations work plan and budget.
"It's the Six Nations' responsibility to complete the work plan and budget before any funding can flow for negotiation purposes."
Canada has already provided negotiation funds to Six Nations through the three-year process.
Almost $2 million in federal money has been paid to the natives for negotiation with an equal amount provided by the Ontario government.
The funds stirred controversy in the native community when people learned of several hefty invoices submitted by those working on the negotiations.
The governments tend to maintain a hands-off attitude, leaving it up to the natives to decided how to spend negotiation funds.
Valladao said the governments are currently in discussion with Six Nations to establish this year's funding.
A story in Friday's Expositor erroneously reported the Haudenosaunee Development Institute held a news conference Thursday when, in fact, it was the Six Nations Confederacy, of which the HDI is a department, that held the meeting.
Confederacy chief Blake Bomberry also was misidentified in the story. The Expositor regrets the error.
Well, the government caving to appoint a facilitator/mediator is significant.