CASNP. 23-Oct-97. The Canadian Alliance in Solidarity with Native People (CASNP) strongly stands beside the Mohawks of Kahnawake in yet another confrontation with the Canadian government. Two weeks ago hundreds of students, staff and parents of the Kahnawake Survival School marched 6 kilometres to deliver to a petition to the band council to stop building grain elevators adjacent to their school, citing environmental, health and safety hazards and the taking of Mohawk land. This was followed by a very well attended community meeting in a jam packed hall on Monday, October 20th, when there was a resounding "NO!" to the project by all of those present. Band chief Joe Norton continued to defend the project in spite of the being scolded by a member of his family about his disregard for his people's interests.
It appears that the project is going ahead whether the people like it or not. In the Environmental Assessment the Department of Indian Affairs gave ADM a permit to go ahead and does not specify that the permission of the people is necessary. Band chief, Joe Norton, signed the self government agreement putting Canada's interests first.
The people were angry, and demanded that Joe Norton put an immediate end to this multinational corporationís incursion onto Mohawk land. Although only 4 acres are needed, ADM is staking out 26 acres of land along the St. Lawrence Seaway. In other countries multinationals with the World Bank have taken over lands, removed or killed the Indigenous people and made them landless in order to exploit their oils, forests and resources. For example, the World Bank invested in Mexico and then the International Monetary Fund devalued the peso so that the debt could never be paid back, allowing the banks to take control of the Mexican economy. The first President of the World Bank in 1947 was John J. McCoy who was from the Chase Manhattan Bank and the Rockefeller Foundation. Archer Daniels Midland have Nelson Rockefeller Jr. and Brian Mulroney on it's Board of Director. Mulroney as Prime Minister of Canada pushed NAFTA through and then a year later tried to kill the Mohawks during the 1990 Oka Crisis when he sent in the Canadian Army. Now the the Band Council is helping them to exploit Mohawk land. The fear is that the Mohawk will be pushed off the rest of their land.
Today, a group of Mohawks marched from the village to the ADM site and set up camp vowing to stay their until ADM leaves Kahnawake for good. Tomorrow morning a petition signed by a majority of the Mohawks on the Territory will be presented to the band council.
This is another case where the band council is in the pocket of the government and the people are fed up with this. This disregard of the people wishes seems to be orchestrated from the Canadian government through the band councils. There are many other examples of this across Canada.
Canadian Alliance in Solidarity with Native Peoples (CASNP)
ATTN: Kahntinenta Horn
National Office: 39 Spadina Road, Toronto, ON, Canada, M5R 2S9
Mailing address: P.O. Box 574, Station P, Toronto, ON, Canada, M5S 2T1
Tel: (416) 972-1573
Fax: (416) 972-6232