25 years later, impacts of the oka crisis - The 1990 Occupation of Kanehsatà:ke and Kahnawà:ke

The Webinar will begin live streaming on this page at 9:00am July 11th.  Please scroll below for more information.

July 11th, 2015 Webinar will be facilitated by Ellen Gabriel and Jolene Rickard

The webinar is part of the activities of the art exhibit Onehkwéntara Kanehstóte – the Red Post  commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Occupation of Kanehsatà:ke & Kahnawà:ke (1990 Oka Crisis) and its impacts.

Starts at 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.  The following is a list of participants for the July 11th, 2015 Webinar

  1. Julie Gaspé - Kanehsatà:ke - Artist in show
  2. Marie David - Kanehsatà:ke
  3. Travis Gabriel Kanehsatà:ke - Artist in show
  4. Wanda Gabriel – Kanehsatà:ke
  5. Clifton Nicholas Kanehsatà:ke
  6. Hannah Claus – Artist in show
  7. Jolene Rickard – Artist and co-curator
  8. Elizabeth Sacca – Artist
  9. Patricija Walton - Artist
  10. Francine Lemay – translator and ally
  11. Jennifer Preston – Canadian Friends Service Committee – Quaker Aboriginal Rights working on Indigenous human rights
  12. Paul Joffe – international lawyer, - for the Grand Council of the Cree – Eeyou Itchee
  13. Pierre LePage – former Quebec Human Rights advocate – documented human rights abuses before July 11th, 1990 and during the Occupation
  14. Francois Sailliant – anti-poverty advocate: part of the group “Solidarité avec les Authochtones” (Native Solidarity Network) protested weekly – daily in Montreal offices of then Quebec Premier Robert Bourassa
  15. Sheelah MaClean – Idle No More Organizer
  16. Professor John Milloy – (tbc) was the lead researcher for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, teaches at Trent University, specializes in history, particularly British Imperial policy toward aboriginal peoples

Niawenkó:wa to all the participants of the webinar for participating and sharing their stories.

Niawenkó:wa to Sheelah McLean, Anna Lee Popham and the communications team at Idle No More for helping us to create this webinar.  Niawenkó:wen to Jaggi Singh and QPIRG Concordia for loaning us their sound board and speakers for others to hear the discussion.

Niawenkó:wa to André Richard and Spencer Mann for coordinating the technical aspect of the webinar without their expertise we would not be able to host this important event.

Niawenkó:wa to the Club de Golf Oka for lending us their front lawn to conduct our webinar; a truly good sign of “reconciliation” and that some things have changed in the past 25 years.

Skén:nen – wishing you Peace

Ellen Gabriel



Context: The 1990 Occupation of Kanehsatà:ke and Kahnawà:ke or the “Oka crisis” as it is popularly known as, was a 78 day siege of the community of Kanehsatà:ke

Our sister community of Kahnawà:ke blocked the Mercier bridge in support of the community of Kanehsatà:ke to protect us from a second wave of fire from the SQ and the Canadian Army who were on stand-by before the July 11th raid.

It was the community members of Kanehsatà:ke who on March 8, 1990 erected a barricade on a secondary dirt road to prevent the expansion of a 9 hole Oka Golf Club and condominium development that would have seen our family members buried in our cemetery, moved to expand the parking lot of the golf club. 

The barricade was a 24 hour vigil to prevent any Municipality of Oka workers from coming in to begin cutting trees.

No Warrior flags were allowed to fly during this time as we wanted to welcome all our fellow Kanien’kehá:ka citizens to be part of the issue of protecting our un-ceded lands.

It was only on July 11th after an SQ SWAT team raid that began at 5:15 a.m. starting a 3 hour negotiations with the authorities that ended up having them open fire against us without provocation.   

Over 2000 human rights violations were documented by Quebec Human Rights and the International Human Rights organization, all without any prosecution or resolution.

No resolution of the land issue has emerged. Only more dispossessions of our lands with the condominium development moving to the edges of the parish of “OKA”.  and our cemetery was purchased  for $1 by the federal government from the municipality of Oka and the pines bought $Unknown, for our “use and benefit”!



July 11, 2015 at 9am - 11:30am
Webinar - Participate from anywhere you can get online
Kanehsatà:ke, QC J0N 1E0
Google map and directions
michelle reid Lawrence Nayally K L Soudeh Alikhani Barbara Smith Patricia Lissson chief tom dostou Haily MacDonald Maio Anas Na'im Sadie-Phoenix Lavoie Nancy Van Styvendale Ko'ona Cochrane Kim Elliott Fiona Mcmurran Pegi Eyers Judy Rebick Trudy Ferguson Mista Wasis Frances Ravensbergen Widia Larivière Darlene Kaboni Kimberly Weaselfat Lynda Kitchikeesic Anna Lee- Brandon Fenton Steven Bonspille Xina Cowan Apachitwane Kicknosway Melissa Mollen Dupuis Clayton Thomas-Muller Stephanie Edwards Lori Brave Rock Angeline Ccwes Randy James Angela Mooney Sandra Conway Bonnie murray Nancy bleck Chris C. kevin james stanger Laura Dunn Henri Chevillard Jesse Freeston Cam Agowissa Xina Cowan Pete Couchie Ida Montour Tammy Bluewolf

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  • Debora German
    commented 2015-07-08 14:29:57 -0700
    I truly wish I could be there with you! I’ll have to watch and listen via internet. I remember watching all I could on tv – and I had a part time transcription job at a CTV stn, so I got to laugh – with much disgust, it must be said – at the mispronunciation of Kanehsata:ke by reporters too lazy to ask those who would know the proper pronunciation. It’s a crime that no prosecution of SQ members, and both provincial and fed. governments took place!
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