The Six Nations' claim to the Red Hill valley is a piece of flim-flammery worthy of some of the fast ones white settlers on either side of the Canadian-American border tried to pull on the natives' ancestors.
The elected band council claims the Red Hill valley is part of the Six Nations' traditional hunting and fishing grounds.
Meanwhile, some members of the traditional Confederacy -- the band council's political rivals on the Grand River reserve -- are claiming the valley is Six Nations territory and have been issuing permits to non-native expressway protesters, who were happily accepting them with either a bumpkin-like simplicity born of historical ignorance or gleeful expediency.
The band council has at best a shaky legal leg to stand on. The traditionalists are plain out to lunch.
It is basing its eleventh-hour entry into the Red Hill rehash on the Nanfan treaty of 1701, in which the Iroquois Confederacy, which was comprised of five tribes until the Tuscarora joined later that century, ceded all its territory in southwestern Ontario to the British in exchange for a guarantee of free hunting rights over the land forever.
The fact the Iroquois had been driven out of the area a decade or so earlier by the Ojibwa, known in southern Ontario as the Mississaugas, probably doesn't matter legally because British negotiators didn't make the treaty dependent on possession or re-conquest. Source.