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Wet'suwet'en, Mohawk

Why the 1990 Oka Crisis is being evoked amid the Wet’suwet’en pipeline dispute

Both politicians and Indigenous leaders say they want to avoid repeating the Oka Crisis of 1990. Here's more on what it involved and the lessons learned:

2020-02-19 12:35:00 AM

Both politicians and Indigenous leaders say they want to avoid repeating the Oka Crisis of 1990. Here's more on what it involved and the lessons learned:

Here's a closer look at the crisis, and what's being said about it now amid the current disagreement over pipeline construction on Wet'suwet'en territory.

“Do we repeat the errors of the past? Thirty years ago, police went in guns blazing in Oka and someone died. So that shouldn’t be lost on anyone that’s telling us to go in there and impose law and order,” he said.Story continues below advertisementIndigenous Services minister says solving rail blockades must be done ‘the right way’

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Indigenous Services minister says solving rail blockades must be done ‘the right way’“These situations have all started with injunctions and court orders, and you can take whatever view you want on … those particular injunctions that are enforced, but we also have to look at ourselves as Canadians and say, ‘do we use every peaceful method to resolve this situation?’

“And that’s the path that I prefer.”Miller also referred to similar lessons learned from the Ipperwash crisis in 1995. In that incident, an Ontario Provincial Police officer shot and killed protester Dudley George during a standoff over a land claim by Chippewa protesters outside Ipperwash Provincial Park.

The federal minister wasn’t the only one who brought up Oka and Ipperwash.READ MORE:AFN national chief urges calm, dialogue to ‘de-escalate’ as rail blockade continuesDuring a press conference Tuesday, Joseph Norton of the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake also mentioned the crises while advocating for peaceful talks.

“To those people who are quick to come down or demand that harsh things be done, you know, it’s 30 years ago since what they called the Oka Crisis. It’s not that long ago with camp Ipperwash and the death of Dudley George. People quote that and use that as a reminder to themselves, we should use restraint,” Norton said.

“Nobody wants to see that again.”Story continues below advertisementLand issues still presentLori Campbell, director of the Waterloo Indigenous Student Centre at St. Paul’s University College, described the Oka Crisis as a “worst case scenario” that all sides are trying to avoid.

However, Campbell said the difference in response from the government is also a sign that what was acceptable three decades ago will no longer pass.READ MORE:Wet’suwet’en protests and arrests: Here’s a look at what’s happening now“Our ability to mobilize is a lot quicker and our solidarity and the underlying issue around land sovereignty is pretty unified,” she said.

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“There are more people in Canada who are interested in having a different Canada and a Canada that recognizes Indigenous rights, Indigenous sovereignty.”Campbell noted the use of police force, or the deployment of the military, is not as acceptable as it was 30 years ago.

She said that politicians citing the Oka Crisis and wanting to avoid a similar situation is encouraging, but there are lessons still to be learned on how to handle Indigenous sovereignty.0:33Trudeau says Scheer ‘disqualified himself’ from leaders discussion on blockades with ‘unacceptable speech’

Trudeau says Scheer ‘disqualified himself’ from leaders discussion on blockades with ‘unacceptable speech’“It was never really about the golf course in particular for the Mohawk, it was about the invasion of that territory,” Campbell said.Story continues below advertisement

“It could have been a pipeline, it could have been a golf course, it could have been a highway.”With the Wet’suwet’en, she said the case is the same — the nation sees itself as a “caretaker” of the land and is trying to maintain its aboriginal title.“Their job, their inter-generational responsibility is to make sure that [the land] is preserved for future generations.”

— With files from The Canadian Press Read more: Globalnews.ca »

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EXPAND CONFEDERATION! 🇨🇦 Except here was thorough engagement with the FNs elected chiefs and councils and band members all 21 who signed benefit agreements and are anxious for jobs and economic prosperity for their people. And a few hereditary chiefs wanting to keep their people 'living off the land.'

Where can a person get info on the oka crisis? Only true stuff please. The situation is nowhere near the same Don't forget Ipperwash and Dudley George.. We approaching that very quickly. Wondering when the Muppet Media would pull from Oka. Canada is Betrayed By Government, news media and RCMP. 2020 the Year Canada was destroyed by TRAITORS.

Except now the protestors are teenage girls doing tiktok dances so I don’t think it’s comparable. Another mismanaged incident. Oh Christ. Get the police to remove them!! If it gets physical perhaps these clown activists should be following the law like EVERY other Canadian What a complete joke. ARREST THESE COWARDS BEFORE FED UP CITIZENS REMOVE THEM OURSELVES

these economic terrorists need to be locked up grow a spine Canada Yah and how about Ipperwash here in Ontario cdnpoli

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Trudeau cancels Barbados trip as Ottawa seeks resolution to end rail blockadesIndigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is calling for more dialogue in dispute over Coastal GasLink pipeline, pointing to failed police interventions in Oka and Ipperwash in 1990s About freaking time I feel so sorry for him. They must have finally figured out how to spin it in their favour.