MPA Major Research Papers

Date of Award


Degree Type

Major Research Paper

Degree Name

Master of Public Administration


Political Science


Christopher Alcantara

Geographical Areas

Haldimand County, Six Nations of the Grand River Territory


In 2006, when over a dozen protesters from the Six Nations took control of the Douglas Creek and rechristened the land Kanonhstation, the Caledonia land dispute went from being a local clash to a national story. In recent years, land disputes between Indigenous Peoples and the Canadian state have inaugurated much scholarly intrigue. Despite the topic’s popularity, the vast majority of material examining land disputes looks at the role of First Nations, the federal government, the provincial government, and provincial police departments; however, nothing has been written on the part municipalities play in land disputes. The research questions for this project are as follows. First, what role did the Corporation of Haldimand County play in the Caledonia land dispute? Second, what explains municipal leaders’ responses? To explore the historical context of the 2006 land dispute, an in-depth study of scholarly, professional, and popular literature has been reviewed. Also, hundreds of articles from the Grand River Sachem were consulted. The findings demonstrate that Haldimand County’s response to the Caledonia land dispute became gradually more antagonistic towards the Indigenous protesters, federal government, and provincial police from 2006 to 2016. The project finds that settler-colonial theory and contested colonialism provides the necessary theoretical tools for interpreting why Haldimand County’s leaders acted the way they did.