Mohawk Council of Kanesatake Press release For immediate release

The Mohawk Council of Kanesatake (MCK) wishes to issue the following statement about the municipality of Oka’s attempt to turn Kanesatake’s stolen ancestral lands, situated in the Pines, into a Provincial Heritage site without the free, prior and informed consent of the people of Kanesatake. 

We share this communication sent out by the municipality of Oka about Shateionkwáwen (common lands) which if Oka gets its wishes, will be passed on to the Province in order to make our lands into a provincial heritage site. 

The municipality, not being a constitutional body, has NO right to give away our ancestral title. As a matter of fact, NO constitutional body has a right to give away our ancestral title without the free, prior and informed consent of the community as a whole. 

Shateionkwáwen is, since time immemorial, Mohawk ancestral territory and Oka will not keep us from exercising our rightful title. Shateionkwáwen is our heritage by treaty and by historical right, which is also supported by international law. 

MCK’s interpretation is that this is another attempt by the municipality of Oka to prevent MCK and Kanesatake from repatriating our stolen land. 

The community was neither consulted nor informed by Oka on the matter, and the people did not give its consent. MCK will fight for the rights of the people of Kanesatake. 

In 2020, a supposed time of reconciliation, less than a week after John A. Macdonald’s statue was taken down and beheaded, we are appalled that such policies take precedent over the inherent rights of our people. 

Rest assured that MCK will not let Oka undermine our historical title, this matter will not go unchallenged, and we will bring our historical constitutional grievances to the attention of Federal and provincial governments.