more on kanehsatake raid

This is from the band council on Kanehsatake Mohawk Territory and issued just before noon today (Thu):

KANESATAKE, QC, May 21 – The Mohawk Council of Kanesatake has issued comments in the aftermath of the raid that took place yesterday in our community.

“Yesterday’s police operation is one that was an important step in addressing a very real problem facing First Nation communities across the country,” said Grand Chief Sohenri:se Nicholas. “Illegal drugs and organized crime have no place in our communities.”

However, the Mohawk Council of Kanesatake has some concerns regarding the raid and the way it was carried out. There were several reports by community members of unnecessary force being used; in one specific case, police officers boarded a school bus, causing fear and panic amongst the young children.

As well, the operation was aimed only at the marijuana grow-ops.

“We are disappointed that the police didn’t take action against those selling harder drugs in the community,” Chief Nicholas said. “This is something that still needs to be addressed.” The Mohawk Council of Kanesatake is working with the community to find a long term solutions for public safety.

“As a community, it’s time that we take responsibility for our affairs,” Chief Nicholas continued. “We are hard at work rebuilding our institutions.”

For further information: Chief Sohenri:se Nicholas, Mohawk Council of Kanesatake,  Cell: (514) 241-8392,  (450) 479-8373

I agree with almost everything. I would like to know more though; such as:  

  • Was he notified prior to the raid?
  • Were Mohawk peacekeepers involved, as reported widely by the mainstream media?

Questions he should ask the RCMP and the Sûreté du Québec:

  • Were snipers in helicopters necessary?
  • Was it necessary to  buzz of the rooftops of homes most of that day, and a couple of times since?
  • Why the complete lack of any kind of community-based policing for more than a year – then a massive invasion of 300 police in SWAT teams, armed to the teeth, with attack dogs, in dozens of vehicles?
  • Was it necessary to seal off the entire community if the police had warrants for specific addresses and suspects?
  • Would they conduct a raid like this, treat the residents like this, if they conducted similar raids in the neighbouring towns of Oka, St. Benoit, or Ste. Placide?

Really. I guess my main question would be: When are these clowns going to start treating us like people – not animals?

No wonder nobody here likes them or trusts them.

As an aside, this is the most I’ve heard from this guy since he took office. Do they even have open-door band council meetings anymore? Return phone calls? Answer correspondence?

Sorry. Rant over.



Filed under Aboriginal peoples, Canada, Canadian politics, human rights, Indigenous peoples, Indigenous rights, racism

2 responses to “more on kanehsatake raid

  1. Concerned

    The Grand Chief was only contacted after the swat penetrated the community

    Yes the goons (native police) were involved, was it on purpose? No, the council had no idea of the operation nor the involvement of the goons.

    Snipers are never necessary when it comes to unarmed civilians, native or non-native. They are usually used to take out a specific target …assassination.

    As for the helicopters, the only purpose they served was bringing back memories of the 1990 crisis; it was a very real reminder of how things have not changed between the government and Kanesatake.

    300 police officers was definitely overkill. All this for such an embarrassing outcome, compared to other small town raids where the seizures are much larger. I wonder how many tax dollars went into this one!

    The only time they will begin to treat us like people and not animals is when we own the land that should rightfully be ours and when our people are rich and comfortable. I believe in our people and their abilities, we will have what is ours one day!

    The present council seems to be open to people, keep in mind they have a lot to clean up from the past idiots. They have to be met half way. If you need to know something why not contact them directly? I have never had a problem getting answers from them. Can’t say too much about the previous councils…

    Stay strong.

  2. shmohawk

    I take your points. You sound like you know what’s going on here.

    My questions, though, stem from the lack of information from the band office to the community. Like most territories (I hate “reserves”), the mainstream media doesn’t serve the informational needs of the community at Kanehsatake. They examine Mohawks like specimens in some social science experiment. But the mainstream media does not consider Mohawks part of their audience, nor hold themselves accountable for the lack of attention to their informational needs.

    Sure I could camp out in the lobby of the band office, and so could dozens of other people. But that puts the entire responsibility upon individuals like me to inform ourselves, and lets the band council off the hook. It has a duty and obligation to inform people – especially in times of stress. It hasn’t done so.

    Issuing an online news release is pretty lame. The band council doesn’t even have a working website. It will probably depend on the Eastern Door – a weekly newspaper over in Kahnawake – to get information out a week late.

    But I note that the band office hasn’t called a single public meeting to let people know what’s going on. There should have been daily public briefings.

    As for me, I’ve dropped by the office asking for a meeting with the head hoo-ha, written a letter, left a business card with my phone numbers… (sound of crickets). I’ve worked at much bigger band offices than this one, and at national organizations too. Policies existed to return calls promptly – within two days max. These guys seem to take months (I’m still holding out hope).

    About the “goons” you mention, I’m not sure if you know where these “goons” came from? The media reported “Mohawk peacekeepers,” not generic “goons.” I’m wondering if the bozos who organized these raids are repeating their past stupidity by scouring the province to bring in good little Indian cops like they did a few years ago – in a move that was condemned as a huge waste of money and a national scandal in failed policing.

    The Feds and Quebec Govt wasted millions of dollars to bring in this flying squad from across the province to prop up former Chief James Gabriel. These “goons” were equipped with the latest, the best, most expensive assault weapons and vehicles. They then sat in their vehicles outside the territory, doing nothing to serve or protect the people in the community. They billed for huge salaries and inflated overtime, taking home the weapons and vehicles when they went home. The whole program was condemned as a huge waste of money, not to mention a lost opportunity to actually improve life in the community.

    And idea where they came from this time? Were they under the command of this Macgregor from Maniwaki? We know this guy gets a hard-on around big weapons and when busting heads.

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