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Oka reconciliation

Oka_CP.jpgA botched police raid on a Mohawk protest camp in July 1990 led to an armed stand-off that lasted 78 days.

The Oka crisis paralyzed the province -- and changed the relationship between Canada and its aboriginal peoples forever.

One police corporal - a member of the SQ's elite intervention squad - died in that hail of bullets.

His name was Marcel Lemay.

His sister, Francine, knew nothing about the Kanesatake Mohawks ...or the conflict over Oka's plans to expand a golf course onto land the Mohawks considered sacred.

Six years ago, she decided to look for answers to the question - why did her brother die?

Loreen Pindera covered the Oka crisis for CBC Radio 20 years ago and went on to write a book about it, called People of the Pines. Here is an excerpt from her documentary on Francine Lemay's journey to make peace with the events of July 1990.

photo: Canadian soldier Pte. Patrick Cloutier and Brad Laroque, an aboriginal man from Saskatchewan, come face to face in a tense standoff at the Kahnesatake reserve in Oka, Quebec, Sept. 1, 1990. (Shaney Komulainen/Canadian Press)

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