‘Not going to be playing the victim card no more’: Six Nations member claims former Arrowdale golf course land

Brantford residents and members of Six Nations continued to protest the City of Brantford’s sale of Arrowdale Public Golf Course on Sunday.

City Council voted in 2020 to sell most of the 32 acre property, and convert 17 acres of reserved space into a public park. It’s expected to bring in $14 million in property taxes, which would be used for affordable housing.

Six Nations member Trevor Bomberry cut the fence that runs around the former golf course on Saturday. Bomberry and his fellow supporters said they plan to occupy the land for the foreseeable future.

“We’re staying, we’re hunkering down for the winter time,” Bomberry said on Saturday.

Bomberry said the land belongs to Six Nations since it’s located within six miles of the Grand River.

“My duty as an Onkwehonwe person is to go ahead and go forth in a peaceful way, and take back what is inherently ours,” Bomberry said.

The protest continued on Sunday, with food and drinks being brought inside the property and a tent was set up.

Brantford police attended the protest on Saturday, telling CTV News the event was peaceful and a news release should be made on Tuesday.

Police were not on site on Sunday but Bomberry said a security guard watched the area overnight.

“We aren’t the enemy, we’re victims here. But we’re not going to be playing the victim card no more,” Bomberry said.

Bomberry says he’s thinking of setting up a business on the property. He plans to keep the space as a green area, and is currently allowing anyone who is interested to walk around the property.

A group of local residents, known as ‘the Friends of Arrowdale’ helped collect 7,000 signatures against the move when it was first announced. Protesters also failed in a court challenge against the sale and now want Six Nations to take over the land.

“It was assigned to them back in the 1700’s. So again I repeat, it’s not [the city’s] to sell,” Gordon Davies, a protestor with the Friends of Arrowdale said.

Davies said the property has a lot of potential, but he supports whatever the members of Six Nations decide to do with it.

“It is a park. It’s 49 acres. It was a beautiful golf course. It could still be,” Davies said.

CTV News reached out to officials with the City of Brantford for comment, but have not yet heard back.

Bomberry wants to keep things peaceful and respectful at the site, but said his actions will be based on the treatment he receives.

“[The police] said if we have to forcibly remove you with an injunction, how are you going to greet us? I said the same way that you’re coming in,” Bomberry said.

Bomberry said he will confiscate any construction equipment being used to destroy the land. He said this event is just the beginning of Six Nations members taking back land they claim belongs to them.