Kanesatake Mohawks continue fight over housing development
Published Saturday, August 12, 2017 7:52PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, August 12, 2017 7:54PM EDT
Kanesatake Mohawks held another march on Saturday through a housing development on what they claim as their territory.
Homes are being built on what the Mohawks call disputed land and they want the construction to stop.
The land is known as the Pines and is the same land that was at the centre of the 1990 Oka Crisis.
“They should know better,” said Konwenni Jacobs, a Kahnawake Mohawk who joined the march. “This is sacred land. There's meaning to this land. It's like hitting a hornet's nest. You know what happened last time, you know we're going to stand up and defend our land.”
Mohawks from Kanesatake and Kahnawake as well as other local residents marched to oppose the development, saying the provincial and federal governments have ignored their claims for too long.
“I'm just defending the land for my children, just carrying on the tradition that my ancestors had,” said Nicole Gagnier, a Kanesatake Mohawk who attended the rally.
Oka Mayor Pascal Quevillon says tensions are rising and he’ll be meeting with the Quebec Native Affairs Minister Geoffrey Kelley this week.
"For the residents of Oka there are frustrations,” he said. “Some have spoken to me in the past few days saying they're upset. Many have property they'd like to sell or would like to build a home in Oka and it's certain with what's happening there will be a negative effect on property values."
Quevillon recently said he won't stop the development project out of fear of being sued -- saying Mohawks should be discussing the project with the federal government.