30th Anniversary of Oka

**If Tomorrow is too short notice please organize actions throughout the month of July. The Siege on Kahnasatake lasted 78 days

“In 1990, we (Wet’suwet’en community members) held a solidarity blockade, during #Oka. Our youth passed out pamphlets & read them to vehicle occupants.
In February 2020, people #ShutDownCanada – and our extended Mohawk family made a massive impact & calls to action – and people listened. The Gitxsan then responded. All were met with police violence and arrests.

We saw so many other Nations stand up and show their strength, and sooooo many allies become accomplices ❤️✊🏽 Change comes through solidarity. A big part of solidarity is taking the initiative to stand for others, and carrying some of the weight. The outcome of this, will be indicative of how much force the colonial system can use… and they’ve already refused to remove the rcmp from our territories – and nobody knows why they’re here. CGL doesn’t have permission.

We are so grateful to amazing collectives who share info and organize – this is a #repost from @blackpowderpress ✊🏽❤️
• • • • • • •
Call for solidarity! July 11 marks the 30th anniversary of Oka, when the military of the Canadian government attacked unceded indigenous land in order to clear the way for development. Today indigenous communities across Canada and across the globe are still fighting to defend their lands from resource devouring capitalists and the governments that attempt to subdue any resistance to their interests.

The Wet’suwet’en continue to fight for their land, against encroachments by big oil & gas and their dirty pipeline, and the RCMP (federal police) who are there to harass, intimidate, and arrest anyone who gets in the way of industry. The land is unceded, and has been inhabited by the Wet’suwet’en for thousands and thousands of years before Canada even existed. They have never consented to a pipeline being built through this pristine and ecologically sensitive area, and continue to struggle against this invasion.

This July 11, stand in Solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en and their fight for their sovereignty and for their land. If there is no action near you, plan one.”

If you can’t do an action on the 11th plan one for the near future and tell us about it so we can help promote it! Details on upcoming action below

Post from Gidemt’en Checkpoint Instagram

Main article: Oka crisis


Kanehsatà:ke is the oldest Kanien’kehá:ka community today and existed pre-European contact. It was the first community to accept Kaianera’kó:wa (the Great Law of Peace), and is mentioned in the condolence (Hi Hi) ceremony of a chief and clan mother. The town of Oka developed along the Lake of Two Mountains through the fraudulent sale of land of the Kanien’kehá:ka community of Kanehsatà:ke by the Sulpician order who were ‘blue bloods’ from France. The Sulpicians sold off land to French settlers and were the biggest land owners in the region. Since 1717, with the arrival of Sulpician priests with their Mohawk, Nippising and Algonquin Christian converts, the Mohawk have been contesting the Sulpician land claim, arguing that the King of France, Louis XIV, never owned the land and thus France did not have the right to grant the land to the Sulpician Order .[9] Included in these lands is a pine forest and cemetery long used by the Mohawk which exists today. The Mohawks of Kanehsatake have tried many times to resolve the land dispute (as part of their land claim against the government and Sulpician mission) but were rejected by the Crown on technical issues.[citation needed]

In 1990 the town of Oka unilaterally approved plans to expand their 9-hole golf course to an 18-hole course and build. The Mohawk protested formally, because they considered the land to be sacred. The city persisted in letting the developer proceed in spite of protests from the community and in response, the Mohawk barricaded a secondary dirt road leading in the pines slated for development to prevent the developers from cutting any trees.[7] After 3 injunctions against the barricade and efforts by the Mohawks to place a moratorium on development, the Sureté du Quebec (SQ), raided the barricade in the early morning hours of July 11, 1990. The SQ were joined by a para-military squad composed of Canadian army and Montreal police. This was the beginning of a 78-day standoff between the Mohawk Nation and their allies (both aboriginal and non-aboriginal) against the SQ and Canadians Army. The sister Mohawk community of Kahnawake erected a barricade on the Mercier Bridge on the South shore of Montreal in order to protect the people of Kanehsatà:ke from a second raid. Negotiations between the Mohawk nation and the Quebec and the Canadian government did not resolve the land issue and it was demonstrated by the International Federation of Human Rights, based in Paris, France, that both the provincial and federal government did not act in good faith during negotiations.[citation needed]

Oka requested support from the Sûreté du Québec, who barricaded highway 344 leading to Kanehsatà:ke. In the first days of the confrontation, a police officer was killed in an exchange of gunfire with the protesters. In solidarity, Mohawk in Kahnawake blockaded the approach to the Mercier Bridge over the St. Lawrence River; this route passed through their land. Non-Mohawk residents of the area became enraged about traffic delays in trying to get through this area and across the river.

The Quebec provincial government requested support from the Canadian Army, which sent in 3700 troops.[10] Provincial and national leaders participated in negotiations between the Mohawk and the provincial government. The Mohawk at Kanehsatà:ke were forced by the Canadian army to remove their barricades.[7] Police and military forces pushed the remaining protesters back until they were confined to the Onentokon Treatment Centre and surrounded by the military. Throughout the summer the community of Kanehsatà:ke had their food, medicine and supplies systematically refused and spoiled by the SQ and Canadian Army.[citation needed]

In the end they chose to come out of the treatment centre, although they did not formally surrender.[7] Those who remained at the treatment center were immediately arrested, with the men and women separated and sent to the Farnham army base. Some of these events and history are explored in Alanis Obomsawin‘s documentary film, Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance (1993). All the Mohawks arrested from the Treatment Center regarding the issue of the barricades were acquitted. A separate trial for a number of individual Mohawks were tried and convicted for criminal acts committed before the army moved into the community.

As of 2019, the land dispute continues is still ongoing.


OKA Crisis

This entry was posted in Indigenous, revolution, solidarity, Uncategorized, Wet’suwet’en. Bookmark the permalink.

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