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Barricade goes up at Kanesatake

In the summer of 1990, all eyes were on the small town of Oka for a showdown between native people, Quebec police and eventually the Canadian army. The violent clash was triggered by something as simple as a golf course and as complicated as native burial traditions. The Oka Crisis drew worldwide attention, catapulting native land rights into the spotlight. (Note: Some clips contain explicit language.)

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Over the year, Mohawks try to prevent the golf course expansion through the courts. They get nowhere. Fed-up and angry, Mohawk warriors set up barricades, string barbed wire and occupy part of Kanesatake forest known as the Pines. It's the very strip of land the town council wants to bulldoze for the golf course.
• In 1988, Georges Erasmus, leader of the Assembly of First Nations, delivered this warning about unsettled native land claims: "We want to let you know that you are dealing with fire. We say, Canada, deal with us today because our militant leaders are already born. We cannot promise that you are going to like the kind of violent political action we can just about guarantee the next generation is going to bring to our reserves."
Medium: Television
Program: CBC Television News
Broadcast Date: April 27, 1990
Guest(s): Luc Carbonneau
Reporter: Paul Carvalho
Duration: 1:53

Last updated: June 24, 2013

Page consulted on September 10, 2014

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