Kanehsatà:ke land defenders hold protest at Oka Golf Club to denounce human rights abuses

Published by Brent Patterson on

Social media posts have highlighted that: “Kanehsatà:ke Land Defenders will be hosting a protest at the Oka Golf Club [on December 10].”

To watch a portion of that protest, please click here.

Land defender Ellen Gabriel has noted: “Kanehsatà:ke Land Defenders are organizing a protest to denounce the persistent human rights abuses committed by the mayor of Oka, the lack of good faith and good will by all levels of government to address the systemic racism that has plagued Kanehsatà:ke for over 3 centuries.”

She has additionally explained: “The Oka municipality [has] mounted an unprovoked aggression against the Mohawk People by moving to seize a traditional burial ground on unceded land, the Oka Pines, and making it its own cultural heritage. This move is the latest in a decades-long series of provocations and racist attacks by the municipality.”

This media release issued on December 8 further notes: “Kanienkeha:ká Land Defenders … call on the Canadian and Provincial Governments to intervene to stop the pattern of aggression and meet with land defenders in the presence of impartial observers.”

Among the issues of concern that Gabriel has been highlighting are the cutting of trees in The Pines on November 17 (for more on this, watch her 8-minute Facebook video), the Domaine des Collines d’Oka housing development on ancestral lands that began in 2017, and an archaeological dig that Gabriel noted in a letter this past June lacks the “consultation as well as the free, prior and informed consent” required for projects.

Furthermore, tensions increased after Oka Town Council passed a motion in August 2019 calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to establish an RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) detachment in Kanesatake.

In this essay published on July 11, Gabriel wrote: “Today marks the 30th anniversary of the 1990 Kanehsatà:ke and Kahnawake Siege where the Kanien’kehá:ka Nation were denied their fundamental human rights without any just recourse. 30 years later, the Rotinonhseshá:ka are still fighting the same issues, while Canada, Québec and Oka collude to continue their land fraud under the auspices of development based on institutionalized racism.”

A still from this video of the protest today.

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