MNN Mohawk Nation News. 10-Mar-98. The people of Kahnawake Mohawk Territory are going to have a demonstration on Monday, March 16th at the Knights of Columbus Hall at 1:00 AM to show their strong opposition to the signing of the Convention with the Indigenous Peoples of Oaxaca which in reality is between Canada and Mexico. They have been asking questions concerning this agreement and so far the answers have been vague and misleading. Joe Norton and Andrew Delisle of the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake, which is the colonial system set up under the Indian Act by the Canadian Government, refuse to reveal the date of the signing and who will be parties to the signing, among other questions. Of particular concern regarding the carrying out of international trade, they want to know why are the Mohawk people not being consulted and not asked for their consent for this agreement? The following petition is being circulated everywhere to be signed by Indigenous people and their supporters of the Mohawk protesters and of the Indigenous people of Mexico.
"We the citizens, allies, friends and supporters of the Mohawk Nation do hereby declare as follows:
* The band council of Kahnawake is a part of the Canadian government and should not sign an agreement with the Mexican government and the Indigenous People of Oaxaca to set up trade and commerce.
* Right now true Indigenous nations can make legitimate nation to nation international contracts like corporations now make with each other all over the world, which must be honoured. If the band council makes a sub-agreement under the sovereignty of the Canadian government with Indigenous people under the sovereignty of Mexico, they will be bringing the sovereignty of Mohawk and other Indigenous nations under that of the Canadian government, other nation-states and the North American Free Trade Agreement.
* We urge the Kahnawake band council to respect nation to nation relations so as not to be part of the erosion of the rights of all true Indigenous nations of the Western Hemisphere.
* We also urge the Kahnawake band council not to deal with the Mexican government and its agents and to condemn Mexico, along with the rest of the world, for directly or indirectly arming para-military groups to murder our Indigenous brothers and sister there. We must not be part of the exploitation of the cheap labour of our Indigenous brothers and sisters.
* We demand the prosecution of those guilty of the Acteal massacre; the demilitarization of Chiapas; international presence, including the International Red Cross, UN monitors, to protect the displaced Indigenous people as well as to provide humanitarian assistance; to start a dialogue between the EZLN and the Mexican Government, along the lines suggested by COCOPA and CONAI, leading towards true and lasting peace in Chiapas; and the implementation by the Mexican government of the San Andreas Accords, reached between the EZLN and the Mexican government in 1996.
Everyone is welcome to join the protest, to sign the petition and to attend an information session following the protest, place to be announced.
Mohawk Nation News (MNN)
P.O. Box 991, Kahnawake Mohawk Territory (Quebec, Canada) J0L 1B0