Tensions rise as Mohawk activists square off with Oka mayor over development
CTV Montreal, July 12, 2017
A real estate development in Oka is raising tensions in the Mohawk community of Kanehsatà:ke.
On Wednesday morning, a group of protesters led by Mohawk rights activist Ellen Gabriel squared off with Oka Mayor Pascal Quévillon.
Four hundred homes are planned for a plot of land adjacent to The Pines – the land at the heart of the 1990 Oka Crisis.
The protesters say trees on the Mohawk territory of Kanehsatà:ke have already been cut down.
“We’re here to say not anymore,” said Gabriel. “Twenty-seven years ago they didn’t listen to us. They never settled the problem and it still continues today. So we’re asking is if the federal government really thinks, if Prime Minister Trudeau really is sincere, about the First Nations being his most important relationship, then he has to intervene here today.”
“This is not going to go away,” she added. “We’ve been stomped on for centuries and generations have had to pick up the struggle. We want peace, that’s all we want… We are not going to allow any more development on our traditional territory.”