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McKenzie Road reopens in Caledonia after repairs

Don Mitchell / Global News

The last of three roadways blockaded as part of protest tied to a land dispute in Caledonia, Ont., has reopened, according to Ontario Provincial Police (OPP).

McKenzie Road has now reopened as municipal work crews finished repairs and a safety evaluation of the roadway on Thursday night.

Obstacles on the road and at Argyle Street were removed on Tuesday as a “goodwill” gesture for a “supportive” community according to Skylar Willams, a spokesperson for the protesters.

McKenzie Road, along with Highway 6 and Argyle Street, had been closed to traffic since October after a group from Six Nations set up a blockade tied to a dispute over the McKenzie Meadows housing development.

Read more: Barricades removed on two Caledonia roads tied to land dispute

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The group, which calls its members “land defenders,” renamed the site “1492 Land Back Lane,” claiming the project is on unceded territory that belongs to the Haudenosaunee.

In early August, OPP began arresting demonstrators on the site after a judge issued a pair of injunctions — one that prohibits people from trespassing on the construction site and another that prohibits blockades from being set up on roads in Haldimand County.

The group is seeking a dialogue with Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, as well as Marc Miller, Minister of Indigenous Services, and Greg Rickford, Ontario’s Minister of Indigenous Affairs.

The group’s occupation of the development was at its 218th day as of Feb. 19 and Williams says there’s still “minimal” communication with the federal government over the issue.

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