Blog Archives

Tensions rise as Mohawk activists square off with Oka mayor over development

Oka protest ellen gabrielCTV 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. Read the rest of this entry

The Oka Crisis in 5 minutes

 

The Oka Crisis was supposed to be a wake-up call. Little has changed in 27 years

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A picture taken during the Oka Crisis on July 11, 1990. (Tom Hanson/The Canadian Press)

By Steve Bonspiel, for CBC News, July 11, 2017

“Just go in there and exterminate them like the rats they are.”

“What are we waiting for? Let’s get rid of them.”

“Put them all in the Big O and blow it up.”

I heard these words from random non-Natives as a 14-year-old boy, 27 years ago to the day. I feel a mixture of pride, anger, sadness and resolve when I think of that fateful summer, and what went on for those 78 days in Kanesatake: the Oka Crisis. Read the rest of this entry

Kanesatake hit by rising waters: ‘We’re working like crazy here’

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Flooding in Kanesatake, May 2017.

by Tom Fennario, APTN National News, May 9, 2017

KANESATAKE MOHAWK TERRITORY – Drive past Torrey Daoust’s house from the back, and it could be mistaken it for an island. Brown water from the Ottawa River laps at his green lawn about a metre away from a row of sandbags. Read the rest of this entry

Mohawks threaten to block Energy East; says project is threat to their way of life

Kanesatake hopes to build opposition, raise cash for pipeline fight

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Gate at Unist’ot’en camp, photo: Al Jazeera.

by Christopher Curtis, Montreal Gazette, Nov 17, 2015

If Kanesatake was meant to lead the fight against the Energy East pipeline in Quebec, things might be getting off to a slow start.

Last weekend, the environmental group Greenpeace held workshops on the Mohawk territory that focused, in part, on mobilizing people against the proposed pipeline. Only about five locals attended the event, according to Kanesatake Grand Chief Serge Simon. Read the rest of this entry

Mohawk police station, site of 2004 standoff, burns down

Fire fighters battle flames engulfing police station in Kanesatake, October 2015.

Fire fighters battle flames engulfing police station in Kanesatake, October 12, 2015.

CTV News, October 12, 2015

A former police station in Quebec where dozens of Aboriginal officers were held hostage more than a decade ago has burned to the ground.

The blaze in the Mohawk settlement of Kanesatake injured no one, but brought up bad memories and raised questions about youth joblessness.

It was the building where Grand Chief James Gabriel’s Aboriginal police force — brought in to fight growing organized crime — was held hostage in 2004. The chief’s family home was famously torched by vandals during that standoff, which ended with the provincial force taking over policing. Read the rest of this entry

Sisters recall the brutal last day of Oka Crisis

Waneek Horn-Miller holds on to her 4-year-old sister as chaos breaks out. The 78-day siege, remembered as the Oka Crisis, ended with the army moving in to push the Mohawk out on Sept. 26, 1990. (Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press)

Waneek Horn-Miller holds on to her 4-year-old sister as chaos breaks out. The 78-day siege, remembered as the Oka Crisis, ended with the army moving in to push the Mohawk out on Sept. 26, 1990. (Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press)

CBC News, September 20, 2015

Most kids spend the summer playing with friends or chilling out at home.

But when sisters Waneek Horn-Miller and Kaniehtiio Horn were just 14 and four years old respectively, these Kahnawake Mohawks were behind the lines of one of Canada’s most infamous standoffs. The media branded it the Oka Crisis but for those who were there and those who supported them, it is remembered as the Mohawk Resistance.

“My mother, Kahentinetha Horn is a native activist, old-school from the ’60s. She was there and me and my little sister ended up following her there,” recalled Horn-Miller.

Read the rest of this entry

Behind the lines: Invisible scars left by Oka Crisis 25 years later

Mohawks from Kanesatake, Que., march to mark the 25th anniversary of the Oka Crisis, in Oka, Que., on Saturday, July 11, 2015. The Canadian Press/Ryan Remiorz

Mohawks from Kanesatake, Que., march to mark the 25th anniversary of the Oka Crisis, in Oka, Que., on Saturday, July 11, 2015. The Canadian Press/Ryan Remiorz

Mohawk journalist Dan David reflects on his time during Oka Summer

By Dan David, CBC News, July 11, 2015

At 5 a.m. on the morning of July 11, I’ll be with traditional people and a few guests in The Pines on Kanehsatà:ke Mohawk Territory. There won’t be any government people, politicians, or members of the band council.

No long speeches, preening egos, or empty promises allowed. Just a few people who wish to reflect on the meanings of events that began on a day exactly 25 years before. Read the rest of this entry

Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance

by National Film Board of Canada, uploaded to Youtube on Sept 20, 2011
Directed by Alanis Obomsawin – 1993

On a July 11, 1990, a confrontation propelled Native issues in Kanehsatake and the village of Oka, Quebec, into the international spotlight. Director Alanis Obomsawin spent 78 nerve-wracking days and nights filming the armed stand-off between the Mohawks, the Quebec police and the Canadian army. This powerful documentary takes you right into the action of an age-old Aboriginal struggle. The result is a portrait of the people behind the barricades.

Read the rest of this entry