What is the Joint Stewardship Board?
In 2002 the City of Hamilton and the Six Nations community came together in a number of agreements intended to preserve the Haudenosaunee interest in the Red Hill Valley with the onset of the construction for the Red Hill Valley parkway. The intent of the agreements was to foster long-term relationships and to create a plan for the Valley that reflects the best thinking of both peoples.
Under the Joint Stewardship Agreement, the Joint Stewardship Board was formed. Comprised of equal representation from the City of Hamilton and the Haudenosaunee, it is the Board’s responsibility to ensure cooperation and successful continuation of the environmental management plans for the Red Hill Valley.
Haudenosaunee—Hamilton Red Hill Agreements
The Board is guided by the collaborative framework established through a series of agreements between the City of Hamilton and the Haudenosaunee:
- Agreement About Facilitated Negotiations, September 19, 2003
- Agreement Concerning Respect for and Protection of Human Burials in the Red Hill Creek Valley and Assurances Concerning Archaeological Work in the Red Hill Creek Valley, October 22, 2003
- General Agreement, November 17, 2003
- Agreement About Hunting, Fishing, Trapping and Gathering, November 17, 2003
- Agreement on Tolls, November 17, 2003
- Joint Stewardship Agreement, December 18, 2003 (ratified 2005)
- Agreement on Medicine Plants and Other Significant Plants, December 18, 2003
- Agreement on Economic Opportunities in the Red Hill Valley, January 9, 2004
- Agreement Respecting the Human Heritage of the Red Hill Valley, January 9, 2004
In the fall of 2007, as symbolic trees were being planted, the Haudenosaunee presented the Mayor of Hamilton with three strings of white wampum, to be called “the Fire of the Valley”.
Wampum is sourced in the Haudenosaunee Great Law of Peace as the original use of tubular shell beads to record messages and history, document agreements and to serve as credentials and records of the political protocols of the Haudenosaunee.
This new “fire” represents the values of the council fire; a place and time of bringing minds together for the benefit of future generations; to assure that they have a healthy place in which to live.
- The First String represents the mutual respect shown in the re-establishment of our relationship.
- The Second String represents the trust evidenced by the Haudenosaunee and the City of Hamilton that made it possible to develop the Joint Stewardship Board.
- The Third String represents the friendship that has developed as a result, building upon the long-standing traditions of our peoples.
These three foundational teachings are the commitment that the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council and the City of Hamilton have made to the Red Hill Valley.
Our vision is to facilitate a deeper connection to the cultural landscape of the Red Hill Valley watershed in order to promote human and environmental well being.
- Acknowledge and honor ancestral experiences
- Provide a link between the Haudenosaunee and Hamilton residents
- Enlighten the access to the Valley for all
- Protect and enhance the ecosystem and the environment
- Understand human impacts in the Red Hill Valley ecosystem
- Capitalize on economic opportunities without compromising the ecological integrity of the Red Hill Valley
In order to achieve our objectives, the Joint Stewardship Board will focus efforts during 2014 to 2016 in the following areas:
Valley Access and Education
Coordination and Partnership
Assessment and Monitoring
Planning and Reporting