Blog Archives

How the Oka Crisis has shaped 4 generations in Kanesatake and Kahnawake

OKA-Stand off

Warrior raises rifle from atop an overturned police cruiser at Oka roadblock in Quebec on July 1990. Photo by Tom Hanson / The Canadian Press.

‘You could say, it woke us up,’ says 72-year-old John Cree

by Jessica Deer, CBC News,

Every year on July 11, Bryan Deer spends the morning at the foot of the Mercier Bridge connecting Montreal with Kahnawake as a reminder to his community and the thousands of commuters that pass through it of an important day in Canadian history. Read the rest of this entry

Frustration mounts as land dispute continues in Oka, Que.

oka kanesatake protest 2017

A sign is erected in Kanesatake, Que., where a housing project threatens a piece of land known as The Pines. (Steve Bonspiel/Facebook)

Residents of Mohawk community call on federal government to intervene in dispute over housing development

CBC News, August 2, 2017

Frustration continues to mount in Kanesatake, Que., where residents of the Mohawk community are once again rallying to protect a stand of trees known as The Pines from encroaching development. Read the rest of this entry

“Oka Crisis” 25 Year Anniversary Poster PDF

Oka 1990 Anniversary Poster 1To mark the 25 year anniversary of the 1990 “Oka Crisis” Warrior Publications has released this 11X17 inch colour poster by Kwakwaka’wakw artist Gord Hill.  You can download this PDF and print it out on a colour laser printer.  Help keep the history of Indigenous resistance alive!  To download click Oka 1990 Anniversary Poster 1. Read the rest of this entry

Still warriors: Kahnawake Mohawks are ready to take up arms to defend their beliefs

Sign at entrance to Kahnawake.

Sign at entrance to Kahnawake.

by Graeme Hamilton, National Post, July 9, 2015

KAHNAWAKE, QUE. —  Early on July 11, 1990, when Bryan Deer’s radio crackled with news the Sûreté du Québec was moving in on Kanesatake with tear gas and concussion grenades, he and his fellow Mohawk Warriors in Kahnawake knew what had to be done.

Within an hour, they had seized the Mercier Bridge, preventing rush-hour traffic from crossing the vital link between their reserve on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River and Montreal. Read the rest of this entry

Oka Crisis deepened understanding of land claims in Canada

Warriors keep watch and read the funnies at Kanesatake, 1990.

Warriors keep watch and read the funnies at Kanesatake, 1990.

25th anniversary dredges up difficult memories for those involved

By Giuseppe Valiante and Peter Rakobowchuk, The Canadian Press/CBC News, July 7, 2015

It was a crisis that grabbed international headlines, with Mohawks and Canadian soldiers involved in a lengthy stand-off that often appeared on the verge of exploding into full-blown combat.

Twenty-five years on, the legacy of the Oka Crisis for many of those who experienced the tension west of Montreal is a greater awareness of indigenous issues. Read the rest of this entry

Twenty-five years later: Oka Crisis events inspired native movements around the world

Long Shadow of the Pines: 25 Years Since the 1990 Oka Crisis“>

My name is Clifton Arihwakehte Nicholas, I am a Kanienkehaka (Mohawk) from Kanehsatake (Oka).  I was a young man involved in the 1990 Oka Crisis from it’s start and throughout that summer.  The Crisis was a critical point both in my life and in the community of Kanehsatake.  It’s impact is still being felt in Kanehsatake and moreover throughout Indigenous communities and movements in Canada from coast to coast.  An examination and retrospection of those events needs to be told by those intimately involved in that historic summer.  Furthermore a wider perspective as to the impact the crisis had on Indigenous people, movements and the government responses to them in light of the events of 1990 from Idle No More to Elsipogtog. Read the rest of this entry

“Sometimes the law is an ass”

Mohawk Ellen Gabriel.

Mohawk Ellen Gabriel.

by Ellen Gabriel, Two Row Times, August 13, 2014

With Respect to All my Relations

Let’s be clear here, the Kahnawà:ke residency Law that states anyone who marries a non-Mohawk or non-“Indian” automatically has to leave: “you marry out stay out”; this is not a Mohawk law but colonial assimilation rhetoric implementing the Indian Act’s policy. Read the rest of this entry