Six Nations of the Grand River residents continued to protest the sale of Arrowdale Municipal Golf Course on Saturday, October 9.
The small group of “land defenders” occupied the site after cutting the lock and entering the grounds.
The City of Brantford issued a release stating, “The City is aware of an ongoing, unlawful occupation of City-owned lands located at 282 Stanley Street, and of alleged criminal acts that transpired over the weekend on the property, including trespassing, breaking and entering and vandalism. This matter has been referred to the Brantford Police Service. The City is working closely with Brantford Police Service and will defer to them for comments related to their response.”
“The City condemns any actions or behaviours that cause irreparable harm to the health, safety, and economic vitality of the City, including the behaviours of those illegally occupying these lands, those who have encouraged this behaviour, and those who may be actively aiding and abetting criminal activity.”
In late 2019, the City of Brantford voted eight to three to sell Arrowdale Municipal Golf Course in order to acquire cash to build affordable housing within municipal boundaries. The city is in the process of selling most of the 47-acre land to Elite M.D. Developments for $14 million. Fifteen acres of the course are set to be transformed into a park and open green space. Sixteen delegations, most of them opposed to the sale, came forward during the deliberations by council members.
“The lands at 282 Stanley Street in Brantford have been lawfully and peacefully owned and operated by the City of Brantford for approximately 100 years and remain in the sole and exclusive ownership of the City. The decision to sell these lands to support the City’s plan to develop affordable housing was upheld by the Courts in Ontario,” said the press release.
The release said that it has been engaging representatives from Six Nations in its archeological plans for its site.
“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,” the city said. “These matters require significant input from the Federal and Provincial Governments and the Indigenous community and often involve an accounting for profits but not the return of land.”