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ERIC Number: EJ857808
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 20
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0095-182X
Conducting Haudenosaunee Historical Research from Home: In the Shadow of the Six Nations--Caledonia Reclamation
Hill, Susan M.
American Indian Quarterly, v33 n4 p479-498 Fall 2009
As a historian the author expects that most people will not find her research very exciting. She is used to working in a comfortable obscurity that piques the interest of a few but does not draw the gaze of many. But for the last three years that has not been the case. In February 2006 a small group of people from her community of Ohswe:ken (Six Nations of the Grand River Territory) reclaimed a parcel of land that is part of their historic territory and adjacent to their contemporary settlement. Caledonia, the town to the southeast of their settlement, is often seen as a dormitory community of Hamilton, Ontario, and Hamilton is seen as a dormitory community of Toronto. Suburban sprawl is consuming the farmlands of southern Ontario, and what had been vacant fields are quickly becoming tracts of repetitious single-family homes. The Six Nations--Caledonia land reclamation has been the focus of national and international attention, with many people wondering why Six Nations people would feel justified in stopping construction of a housing project and refusing to leave the land. The author's dissertation research, completed in 2005, examined the historical land relationships of the Haudenosaunee on the Grand River Territory. Even though it is not specifically a land claims study, it is the most recent public research related to the history of Six Nations lands, and the author has been inundated with phone calls, e-mails, and requests for interviews. Six Nations land history has become a very exciting topic both for the people of Six Nations and for those non-Native people who settled in communities built upon land within the Haldimand Proclamation territory (six miles on each side of the Grand River, from the mouth to the source), which the British Crown promised to forever protect for Haudenosaunee interests over two hundred years ago. The attention, particularly from the media, has been stressful, and this is no less so for those who are actively engaged in "insider" community research. Despite the bad press, the reclamation has created an opportunity to raise awareness of their history both inside and outside their community. Along with community leaders, traditional knowledge holders, and other community historians, the author's work has been focused upon that goal. In this paper, the author provides the following discussion: (1) What is Caledonia reclamation?; (2) A background to Ohswe:ken Haudenosaunee land rights; (3) Approaches to Haudenosaunee history; (4) Research at Ohswe:ken; and (5) Future research endeavors and adventures. (Contains 26 notes.)
University of Nebraska Press. 1111 Lincoln Mall, Lincoln, NE 68588-0630. Tel: 800-755-1105; Fax: 800-526-2617; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada; Canada (Toronto)