Yesterday, Tuesday June 14, a major para-military assault by 500 Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officers was launched against the sovereign Mohawk communities of Québec, Canada. At least forty Mohawk citizens were arrested by the RCMP today on sovereign native land, without warrant or warning. The cause? Suspicion of marijuana possession.
Both the RCMP and the Sûreté du Québec (Québec Provincial Police) had agents on the ground. While the target of the invasion was given as drugs, it must be taken into account that the Mohawks of Québec are some of the most militantly sovereigntist Native communities in all of North America. Furthermore, this is must be understood as part of a long history of confrontations between colonists and and the Mohawk people in these communities.
While the major force of the police invasion was focused on the community of Kanesatake, on the shore of the Lake of Two Mountains, and the site of an important 1990 Oka rebellion by armed Mohawk warriors, other communities were invaded as well. One of the other targeted Mohawk communities was Akwesasne (which straddles the Ontario, Québec and New York borders) and Oka, the majority settler municipality next to Kanesatake
While the reaction of much of the Canadian White left has been muted, there has been condemnation of the raids. The nine-nation International Tribunal into Crimes of Church and State (ITCCS), an independent body investigating the crimes of genocide in Canada against indigenous people, called for the immediate withdrawal of what they called “foreign occupation forces” from sovereign Mohawk territory and for “an end to the phony war on drugs that is concealing the Canadian government’s own apparent complicity in these crimes.”
Speaking from London, England, an ITCCS spokesman said:
In our archives are sworn eyewitness statements from aboriginal people in Canada describing the regular involvement of RCMP officers in the transport and protection of offshore shipments of cocaine and heroin at Port Renfrew and Waglisla, British Columbia, and at Cornwall, Ontario.
We believe that the ongoing murder of aboriginal people across Canada is connected to this involvement of an element of the RCMP in the drug trade, which operates through government-funded native chiefs on Indian reserves. Today’s assault on the sovereign Mohawks for simple marijuana possession is therefore not only questionable but highly suspect, considering the history of the Mohawks in defending their land and rights against the same forces now attacking them.
Details are still emerging, but as the situation develops updates will be issued.