JULY 11, 1997

MOHAWK-CANADIAN OKA CRISIS BEGINS

The 1990 Oka Crisis, Canada’s most serious aboriginal crisis in modern times, began in the town of Oka, near Montreal, as a dispute over a planned condominium expansion to a golf complex.  The complex was to be built on land claimed by the Mohawk community of Kanesatake that would have encircled the native cemetery.  Mohawk protesters set up barricades in the pine forest at the heart of the dispute.  The provincial police (SQ) encircled the pines.  Mohawks at Kahnawake then blocked the Mercier Bridge.  The SQ rushed the Oka barricades and a gunfight erupted killing a police officer.  In the long run, the golf course was never expanded.  The land was purchased by the federal government, but has not yet been transferred to the Kanesatake community.  In Kahnawake, the Mohawks have more autonomy.  Mohawk Peacekeepers are the sole patrollers on the reserve, after an agreement with Quebec.  Most importantly, Oka inspired aboriginal people all over Canada.    

Source:  Ha, Tu Thanh, "Crisis inspired many native people," The Globe and Mail, 7/11/2000.  Retrieved 7/6/2019, https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/crisis-inspired-many-native-people/article4165629/?page=all
Photo:  Shaney Komulainen, Canadian Press, 9/1/1990.  Fair Use:  This is used for non-profit/educational purposes only.  This is an iconic photograph that has been used publicly by the government, the media, and others for many years. Further Fair Use justification provided upon request.  Source: https://www.thestar.com/news/insight/2015/08/22/a-warrior-a-soldier-and-a-photographer-remembering-the-oka-crisis.html.  
Photo: Dtaw2001, 1990.  Natives from the Seton Lake Indian Band blockade the BC Rail line in support of Oka, while an RCMP officer looks on.  This work has been released into the public domain by its author.  This applies worldwide.  In some countries this may not be legally possible; if so, the author grants anyone the right to use this work for any purpose, without any conditions, unless such conditions are required by law.

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