Nation vs Nation - The Oka Resistance
The Oka Resistance (also known as the Oka Crisis) was a land dispute between part of the Mohawk Kanesatake Nation and the Town of Oka in Quebec from July 11th to September 26th 1990. A Golf course was given approval from the Mayor of Oka to expand into Mohawk territory, without the permission of the community the land was sacred to. The Mohawk Kanesatake Nation protested this by occupying their land that was to be used for the golf course and eventually by blocking a roadway with a barricade.
The Mohawk people were painted as terrorists by much of the media in order to protect political images, while the military attempted media control by confiscating cameras and blocking journalists from entering or leaving the area. If journalists or protesters left their encampment they were arrested and detained; participants were harassed, abused, and denied supplies. Despite the military's effort to control the media coverage - where they were going and what they were filming - two dedicated journalists were able to make their way past the military barricades without their knowledge.
Learn more about this by watching the Behind the Lines at Oka video below.
Waneek Horn-Miller was 14 at the time of Oka Resistance. She was stabbed by a Canadian soldier while protecting her three year old sister. This was a major turning point in the Oka Resistance and in awareness surrounding the continued treatment of the Indigenous communities.
To learn more about the Waneek Horn-Miller’s experience at the Oka Crisis watch the following video: