Canada

Tempers flare again at Caledonia standoff

Tensions continued to simmer on Monday at a native protest in Caledonia, Ont., after a brief altercation overnight.

Tensions continued to simmer on Monday at a native protest in Caledonia, Ont., after a brief altercation overnight.

The flare-up comes just hours before the start of a debate in the Ontario legislature over the long-running standoff.

The latest trouble reportedly started Sunday night when two Ontario Provincial Police officers who were new to the scene drove into an area that police had agreed not to enter.

Their cruiser was quickly surrounded as tempers flared between aboriginal protesters and area residents.

Police quickly moved in to separate the two sides.

At one point on Sunday evening the OPP said they had temporarily blocked one street in the area "just to solve a little bit of a dispute."

Crowd disperses

The situation had calmed considerably by about 1 a.m. local time and the crowd was dispersing.

Demonstrators first occupied the site on Feb. 28 to stop construction by a local company on land they say was stolen from the Six Nations more than 200 years ago.

The province says aboriginals gave up the land in 1841 to make way for a new highway, an agreement a Six Nations spokesperson said was only meant to be a lease.

Six Nations filed a land claims suit over the area in 1999.

Caledonia is about 20 kilometres south of Hamilton.

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