Thursday, January 31, 2013

By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday, January 31, 2013

Six Nations Chief Bill Montour is returning his Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal to Governor General David Johnston after one was awarded to controversial Caledonia figure Gary McHale.

“I’m packing it up as we speak,” Montour said Tuesday. “I’m sending mine back because I don’t want to have a medal, carrying the same medal (as McHale) … This is recognition of what you have done to this point in your life, and I was quite happy and pleased to take it. After this has come about, I don’t want it.”

McHale, head of a group that stages contentious rallies and marches near a former Caledonia housing site occupied by Six Nations members since 2006, is to receive the medal Feb. 18 in Toronto. His rallies have brought out natives and their supporters, as well as the Ontario Provincial Police, who have to separate the two sides.

McHale was recommended for the award by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. Non-profit groups were invited to nominate people for the 60,000 medals being handed out.

Natives say they occupied Douglas Creek Estates because it was built on unsurrendered land, a claim the federal government denies. McHale’s Canadian Advocates for Charter Equality (CANACE) accuses the OPP of practising two-tier policing and treating natives and non-natives differently. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)