Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Líl’wat, St’át’imc UN Permanent Forum New York

May 25, 2011,

Líl’wat, St’át’imc, in New York at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

For Immediate Release:

A delegation from Líl’wat, St’át’imc, is attending the 10th session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York, USA, from May 16 to 27, 2011. Lil’wat is one indigenous community of eleven within St’at’imc (STAT-lee-uhm), about 150 miles north of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The St’at’imc, otherwise known as the Lillooet Tribe, are a sovereign nation.

The delegation brings news of two serious actions they are taking to protect themselves from Canada and British Columbia’s incursions on their aboriginal title, rights and freedoms, and self-determination.

The first is a petition to the Organization of American States’ Inter-American Commission for Human Rights. This petition complains of repercussions of the lack of treaty between either Líl’wat or St’át’imc with Canada; repercussions which include the imposition of the Indian Act on St’át’imc citizens. Petition 879-07, Loni Edmonds v. Canada, was accepted on July 13, 2007, and has still not been reviewed. This petition speaks principally to the lack of treaty between the sovereign nation of St’at’imc, particularly the independent community of Lil’wat, and Canada. The key issue which brings the petition forth is British Columbia’s indiscriminate and wholly destructive practice of seizing our children and removing them to non-indigenous homes. This is in direct contravention of the Geneva Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The second issue they bring forward is the recent progress of the “St’át’imc Settlement Agreement with BC Hydro” and the province of British Columbia. This Final Agreement with the public utility BC Hydro Power Corp. has been rejected by a number of concerned citizens for many reasons which fall into two categories: the Agreement itself is inadequate, and the process by which the elected Chiefs manufactured its ratification is an offense to traditional St’át’imc governance and even failed to adhere to their own ratification procedures. Construction of dams and generating facilities in St’at’imc territory, to say nothing of the high voltage powerlines and substations, has caused irreparable harm to the St’at’imc way of life. We wonder if, in fact we suspect that, the elected Chiefs were under some sort of duress.

The people will be orienting themselves in the international forum to see how their complaints against Canada may be made better known internationally, and resolutions supported. They will also be encouraging the debate at the Permanent Forum to turn to matters of treaty, or the lack of which, and the culpability of colonial states who deny recognition to the indigenous nations whose lands and peoples they have co-opted.

Having exhausted the “domestic remedies” available in Canada, the petitioners seek protection from Canada’s persistent interference in their families, communities and in the larger St’át’imc nation socially, politically and economically.

They also seek recourse for the ongoing violence against themselves, homelands and their entire way of life. Since provisions in the Canada-legislated Indian Act, 1876, restricting freedom of travel, meeting to discuss the “land question,” and retention of legal counsel were lifted in 1959, Líl’wat and other St’át’imc have been pursuing justice in BC and Canadian courts – where their cases have been improperly thrown out, left unfinished, or concluded unsatisfactorily- ie., thrown out of court when St’at’imc Hereditary Chiefs demand evidence of Canada or British Columbia’s extinguishment of the St’at’imc title and right. Canada cannot provide this evidence because it does not exist. The courts seem to defer to Canada.

The Líl’wat delegation is releasing this news to the press in hopes that it will be reported as presented for the education of all residents of colonial occupations on indigenous lands.

Attached please find our written submission to the UN PFII 10th session.

Líl’wat, also known as Mt Currie, located north of Whistler, is a St’át’imc community.

A Written submission

To the United Nations 10th Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, 2011

The Elders of my family named me Pau Tuc la Cimc. According to the government of Canada, I am James Douglas Louie, certificate of Indian Band Status Number 5570025701.

I am a Lil’watimc of the St’at’imc Nation.

The Lil’wat, Statimc, declare that our laws were and are oral.

The Statimc are a distinct people who, from time immemorial, have shared the same language, culture customs and history. We live within the domain of the Statimc nation which has occupied, used, and exercised sovereignty over its land and resources for the collective benefit and freedom of its citizens from time immemorial. We subscribe to our nation’s laws, values and traditional systems of government to the exclusion of all other jurisdictions which seek to impose alien and assimilative regimes.

We, people of Lil’wat of the Statimc Nation, have consistently declared that our land and our rights as a Nation have never been relinquished by ourselves. The Creator placed us here on our land with the right to self-determination. The right to self-determination and the right to exist as a people is sacred in our way, and is enshrined as Article 1 of both Covenants of the International Bill of Rights. We believe we have that right.

No one can represent us but us—not Canada, not any church, and no general Aboriginal lobby group in Canada. We have exhausted “domestic remedies” within Canada to get justice and restore our land and our people on our land to their previous state of sovereignty.

Only Lil’watmc can speak for the Lil’wat of the Statimc. We are not Canadian and English is not our first language.

We have suffered persistently for 150 years under the assertion of jurisdiction being carried out by the Canadian Province of British Columbia. We have suffered the indignities, oppression, dispossession, and deprivation of colonial racism and rule, which have denied us our rights and freedoms as human beings and our identity as Statimc citizens.

We have no immediate way of pursuing Canada for reparations, restitution and restoration, but we continue to oppose, reject and resist all efforts of the federal and provincial governments to extinguish our title to our traditional lands and resources in exchange for money and small “fee simple” allotments; impositions of the “Indian Act” on our Nation without our consent—the effect of which is to destroy our claim to nationhood, to redefine us as an ethnic minority and our community as a municipality, to make us subject to property and income taxes and to bring us under colonial rule; and which the Canadian and BC governments pursue by deceiving our citizens and the general public by broadcasting a pretend consultation process to manufacture the appearance of our consent.

Consent, to us, is sacrosanct. We know that our consent to all activity in our nation is protected by international statutes, but we can’t seem to enjoy this protection.

While we invite Canada to engage with us to resolve "the land question," or, the unresolved claims of British Columbia and Canada against Líl'wat and St'át'imc title, our attempts to raise these issues have been thrown out or inadequately treated in British Columbia courts and in the Supreme Court of Canada. . We believe this is because the government of Canada has failed to incorporate our international human rights into domestic law derives much from the illegal sale and lease of our lands and resources. We have no treaty with Canada.

In our pleading to the Organization of American States’ Inter-American Court (Petition 879-07, Loni Edmond v. Canada), we explain this situation thoroughly. The lead problem addressed in that petition relates to whether the Government of Canada has the legal right to seize our children and place them in foster care. Our young children have, for many generations now, been indiscriminately taken from their parents by the province. We cannot get redress and we cannot seem to stop the province from ruining our families this way.

That Petition was formally received by the OAS IACHR as of July 17, 2007 and is now under study in accordance with the current rules of procedure. It was submitted with the assistance of the International Law Clinic of the International Human Rights Association of American Minorities, a Non-Governmental Organization in Consultative Status with the UN. We also gratefully acknowledge their support in accrediting our participation here at the 10th session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

We are attending United Nations meetings to bring further attention to our situation: our case has still not been reviewed by the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights of the OAS, though it continues to acknowledge receipt of materials updating the case. We have not received an initial evaluation from the Commission of the OAS.

Canada has imposed itself on our people and our lands unjustly and indefensibly. To quote from our Declaration of the Lillooet Tribe of 1911, "…we are the rightful owners of our tribal territory and everything pertaining thereto." We have no treaty with Canada. We are a nation of the world, unique and self contained, with our own land, language and people; our own culture, government and history. Since 1871 Canada has asserted jurisdiction over our country, and British Columbia has done so since 1859. Again, repeating our 100 year old Declaration, "we deny their right to it."

We believe that our people have, and will always have, the birthright to the lands handed to us by our forefathers and mothers. Until such time as we cede, release, surrender or extinguish our title, we will have this title. We have never made such a release, and plan never to do so—that our people may continue in this world until time out of mind, living peaceably in our homeland—undisturbed and unmolested.

We have suffered almost to the point of extinction as a result of the policy and practices of the province of British Columbia and the state of Canada. At this time, they control us by force through such tactics as seizing our children, incarcerating our adults and defenders, intimidating our Elders, moving our villages, and exercising sway over our elected Chiefs—Indian Act Chiefs elected to administer to us the relief Canada so inadequately delivers in our duress, while our lands are occupied by Canada and the corporations they contract with.

To the present day, the Statimc Nation has had to deal with Federal policies whose effect is genocidal and unlawful under the terms of the International Convention for the Prevention and Punishment for the Crime of Genocide, in particular Article II (c) "Deliberately inflicting on the ground conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part."

In addition, Canada is in breach of the Royal Proclamation of 1763, which remains an integral part of Canada’s Supreme Law; the Constitution Acts, 1867 and 1982. The Proclamation acknowledged and affirmed that the relationship between Aboriginal Peoples and the British Crown was and would Remain “Nation to Nation”; a relationship which Canada is actively seeking to dismantle in favour of Provincial Jurisdiction. The Proclamation made it unlawful for Colonial Governments and their successors to engage in “Great Frauds and Abuses”; a crime for which Canada was and remains guilty.

The same Proclamation also made it unlawful for Colonial Governments and their successors to interfere in the internal affairs of Indigenous Nations, an edict which has been consistently ignored by Canada and is the cause of great damage to the Statimc people.

With the imposition of the Indian Act, which forces us to replace our traditional government of family head representation with one elected Chief and Council to every Indian Reserve, our usual mutual relationships within our country have been severely challenged. Canada administers poverty rations to each Indian Reserve, which are then distributed by the elected leaders, while Canadian, British Columbian and multi-national corporations reap the riches of our lands, waters and resources that they deny us or restrict our access to.

Now at the 100th anniversary of our Declaration, we are experiencing a painful schism among our people: between those who stand to benefit in the short-term from access to the poverty rations and those who instead stand to lose access to land and water being usurped by the provincial utility, BC Hydro. The leaders in the Indian Act system have arranged a Settlement Agreement with the province and the utility which contradicts all our aspirations to sovereignty in our country. What should be a joyous celebration of our perseverance, our continued survival in the face of all odds, is instead a moment of division. This is but one of the problems we face while our power over ourselves and our land is denied and our physical and cultural survival is undermined.

We hereby reject the so-called Settlement Agreement since it violates our right to

self-determination under customary international law and treaties to which Canada is a party.

We seek reparation, restitution and restoration. We seek recognition of our people and our right to exist in our homeland according to our birthright, to be free and independent.

As repeated from a letter to the OAS IACHR, “What is important, particularly for the credibility of the OAS and its human rights tribunal, is that the OAS must not bring into doubt its belief in the right of the victim to a fair hearing in order to appear to promote equity before the law vis-à-vis the state and the victim.”

We seek the good offices of the United Nations human rights system to advance our case.


Pau Tuc la Cimc, Líl’wat, St’át’imc

Listen to interview at Latin Waves Indigenous Show:

Monday, May 23, 2011

Wikileaks Cables on Mohawks

Censored News is now posting the Wikileaks US diplomatic cables from Quebec and Montreal, about Mohawks. The border, land claims and struggles are among the issues. Five cables have been posted so far in Censored News Special edition.

In a cable dated July 30, 2009, from Ottawa, the US Ambassador said, "The CBSA customs post on Cornwall Island (Kawehnoke) located on the Mohawk reserve territory of Akwesasne on the Canada-U.S. border closed on May 31. Canadian border guards had left the post citing fears of a violent confrontation with Mohawk residents, who opposed a CBSA directive requiring border guards to carry firearms at the Canadian port-of-entry, effective June 1."


WIKILEAKS: Border guards feared Akwesasne Mohawks

Wikileaks Cable: Mohawks Borders, Land Claims, Treaties

Wikileaks Montreal Cable: Mohawks 2004

Wikileaks Cable: Mohawks, Kanesatake, May 2004

Wikileaks: US and Canadian militaries like a marriage

Photo: Indigenous Peoples Border Summit of the Americas 2006, San Xavier, Tohono O'odham. Photo by Brenda Norrell.

Wikileaks: US and Canadian militaries like a marriage


09OTTAWA779 2009-10-06 16:09 2011-04-28 00:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Ottawa
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O 061609Z OCT 09
E.O. 12958: N/A

1. (SBU) Summary. Since presentation of credentials on

October 2, Ambassador has actively engaged top Canadian

political leaders, including the Prime Minister, to

underscore the central importance of this highly successful

bilateral relationship. He will begin a series of provincial

travels on October 6. End Summary.

¶2. (U) In a ceremony at Rideau Hall on October 2,

Ambassador Jacobson formally presented his credentials to

Governor General Michaelle Jean, along with new Ambassadors

from Azerbaijan and Norway and the new Head of Delegation of

the European Commission. In her remarks, the Governor

General praised the close and highly successful relationship

between Canada and the U.S., built on shared values and

cultures as well as trade and people-to-people contacts. She

underscored that "we build things together." There was

extensive and unusual television coverage of the event and

the Governor General's remarks -- which, officials from the

Department of Foreign Affairs and International (DFAIT) Trade

noted, she personally re-wrote -- as well as the Ambassador's

brief press conference afterward.

¶3. (SBU) Prime Minister Stephen Harper received the

Ambassador within two hours of the ceremony at Rideau Hall in

his official office opposite Parliament Hill for a 30 minute

meeting, joined by his chief of staff and senior foreign and

defense policy advisor. There was

a brief photo opportunity, which received widespread coverage

in the Canadian media. The PM noted that his government had

moved the relationship to the strategic level and avoided

allowing the irritants to dominate. He commented that

President Obama,s huge popularity with Canadians makes it

easier for Canada to work with the United States. On "Buy

America," PM Harper said the government is very upset at the

recent CBC reports and has no idea who talked to CBC or

whether the CBC reporter simply made the story up. PM Harper

and the Ambassador agreed that the issue had a greater

political impact than economic. PM Harper said he would very

much welcome having the President or First Lady attend the

Winter Olympics, while acknowledging that it is for the U.S.

Olympic Committee officially to invite the President. PM

Harper discussed in some detail climate change issues and the

upcoming Copenhagen summit. He said he wants to coordinate

policies closely with the U.S. and that he is anxious for

Canada to be part of the U.S. debate over climate change and

energy security (and equally anxious not to be part of the

health care debate).

¶4. (SBU) In back-to-back meetings at DFAIT on October 5,

the Ambassador called on Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon and

International Trade Minister Stockwell Day. FM Cannon

described bilateral relations as "very warm, friendly, and

very productive," while underscoring that, with the new

Administration, the "U.S. had changed the checkerboard,"

enabling all to view the world from a different perspective.

He praised Secretary Clinton and cited the high respect with

which she is held by her counterparts. He encouraged the

Secretary to visit Ottawa soon, hopefully by the end of this

year. He welcomed the Ambassador's plans to travel

extensively throughout Canada during his first months. FM

Cannon raised the Arctic, noting that the subject had also

come up during PM Harper's recent meeting with the President,

and cited the Beaufort Sea as an issue to settle as soon as

Qand cited the Beaufort Sea as an issue to settle as soon as

possible. The Ambassador emphasized his willingness to

facilitate discussions and encouraged the FM to contact him

at any time. The FM and Ambassador expressed satisfaction

over the new architecture for the G-8 and G-20. The FM also

reiterated PM Harper's remarks that U.S. security was as

important to Canadians as to Americans, and promised that

"whenever the U.S. is attacked, Canada is attacked." The

Ambassador praised Canadian support for the U.S. as well as

its many services and sacrifices, which he described as

"critically important." In a separate meeting, Minister Day

noted the close working relationship that he has with USTR

Kirk. The Ambassador emphasized his desire to work together

with Canada to resolve or lessen some of the trade irritants

that are a part of our much broader bilateral partnership.

Day focused briefly on the "Buy America" controversy and

noted that he was responsible for persuading the Canadian

municipalities to suspend their planned retaliatory actions.

Day noted that there had been progress in last week's

discussions between USTR and Canadian officials. The

Ambassador asked Day and his deputies if legislation will be

necessary for the provinces and municipalities actually to

join the WTO Government Procurement Agreement. The response

was that the need for legislation would vary by province, but

that all municipalities, under Canadian law, were bound by

provincial authority.

¶5. (SBU) Also on October 5, the Ambassador met with Public

Safety Minister Peter Van Loan in his office on Parliament

Hill. The Ambassador emphasized, and Minister Van Loan

concurred, that achieving trade and security is important to

both governments. Van Loan made clear that he does not view

this as a zero sum game, stating that he was looking for a

legal option that would allow Canada to share information

with the U.S. to meet the requirements for Secure Flight. He

said that investing in a separate but equal system would not

make financial sense, and that it would be unlikely to meet

U.S. standards, anyway. The Ambassador assured Minister Van

Loan that he likes to find workable solutions ("conclude

deals," in lawyer-speak) whenever possible. Van Loan raised

Canada's strong desire for a unique shared port of entry on

U.S. soil to replace Canada's Cornwall Island crossing on

Akwesasne Mohawk territory that has been closed since June

¶2009. Van Loan acknowledged that this was a "big ask" and

that he and DHS Secretary Napolitano would be discussing it

again in November. Van Loan also briefly raised "Buy

America," acknowledging that it had been blown out of

proportion. He nonetheless encouraged the Ambassador to do

all that he could to put the issue to rest, commenting that

this would be how the Canadian public would measure his first

year in Ottawa.

¶6. (SBU) The Ambassador later met on October 5 with Defence

Minister Peter MacKay in his Parliamentary office. The

Minister and the Ambassador each spoke of the exceptional

relationship between the U.S. and Canadian militaries,

calling it the "closest in the world." With regard to

Afghanistan, Minister MacKay acknowledged that Canada will be

wrestling with its role, in part based on decisions made by

NATO allies and the U.S. He pointed to the "enablers" made

available by the U.S. to the Canadian Forces in Kandahar,

saying that this married-up approach helped make the Canadian

commitment possible. The Ambassador recognized the sacrifice

and bravery of the Canadian Forces and lamented that some

unnamed NATO allies have not "stepped up" as Canada has. He

also expressed a desire to visit U.S. and Canadian Forces in

Kandahar in order to gain a greater understanding of the

circumstances on the ground. The Minister pointed to a major

security conference that Canada will host in Nova Scotia in

November, and expressed the hope of using the occasion to

showcase our close bilateral cooperation, notably, the

"significant" responsibilities that the U.S. and Canada share

with regard to the security of North America. MacKay

indicated some dissatisfaction that European allies sometimes

overlook Canada's significant security contributions, both

throughout the world and in the "home game" of North America.

¶7. (SBU) The Ambassador will be in Montreal and Quebec City

October 6-8 to meet with provincial leaders and business

people, and will then travel to Alberta, Saskatchewan, and

Mantiboba October 12-20, before returning to Montreal October

20-21 for the Canadian American Business Council meeting.

Visit Canada,s North American partnership community at /


WIKILEAKS: Border guards feared Akwesasne Mohawks


09OTTAWA597 2009-07-30 21:36 2011-04-28 00:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Ottawa
DE RUEHOT #0597/01 2112136
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E.O. 12958: N/A


¶1. (SBU) Summary: An ongoing dispute between Canada Border Services

Agency (CBSA) and the Mohawk aboriginal reserve of Akwesasne over

the arming of border guards on the reserve straddling the

Canada-U.S. border raises cross-cutting political, jurisdictional,

and law enforcement issues. CBSA retains the policy lead on the

file, although reaching more than a stopgap solution will require a

more integrated whole-of-government approach and some tricky

political choices. End Summary.



¶2. (U) The CBSA customs post on Cornwall Island (Kawehnoke) located

on the Mohawk reserve territory of Akwesasne on the Canada-U.S.

border closed on May 31. Canadian border guards had left the post

citing fears of a violent confrontation with Mohawk residents, who

opposed a CBSA directive requiring border guards to carry firearms

at the Canadian port-of-entry, effective June 1. CBSA opened an

alternate temporary border post in Cornwall, Ontario on July 13 and,

according to a Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) spokesperson,

the site is operating "very smoothly" with two lanes. The makeshift

border post is a rudimentary assembly of tents and trailers at the

base of the north span of the Seaway International Bridge linking

Cornwall to New York State. CBSA inspectors staffing the

"temporary" facility are armed.

¶3. (SBU) Officials at Canada's Department of Indian and Northern

Affairs (INAC) confirmed to poloff that, although the present

dispute involves an aboriginal community, the Department of Public

Safety (the parent department of CBSA) is responsible for handling

the dispute and that INAC is not directly engaged on the file. The

policy to arm border guards across the country fulfilled a 2006

Conservative election promise. In spite of the impasse at

Akwesasne, Minister of Public Safety Peter Van Loan has confirmed

the government's intention to implement the policy across the

country by 2016.



¶4. (U) The Cornwall Island crossing is the only one of CBSA's 119

border posts located on First Nations' territories and presents

unique jurisdictional issues. (The U.S. maintains a customs port

across the St. Lawrence River from Cornwall Island at Rooseveltown,

New York.) The Akwesasne Mohawk reserve straddles the Canada-U.S.

international boundary, as well as the provinces of Ontario and

Quebec and the state of New York.

¶5. (U) According to the community's own estimates, the reservation

land base includes between 11,711 and 14,648 acres of undisputed

land, with up to a further 12,000 acres subject to land claims in

both Canada and the U.S. The reserve has a total population of

approximately 13,000 Canadian and American residents. An estimated

1,800 Akwesasne Mohawks live off the reserve. Community residents

use the U.S. and Canadian ports of entry to access parts of the

reserve in Quebec and Ontario, as well as the U.S., often several

times per day. A 2002 Transport Canada study showed that Mohawk

community residents constitute 70 pct of users of the Cornwall

Island border crossing on a daily basis. When the Cornwall Island

land border crossing closed in May, Canadian Akwesasne residents

could still cross to the U.S. from Cornwall Island, but could not

return by the same route. The Mohawk community briefly ran a daily

boat service to the U.S. section of the reserve.

¶6. (U) The location of CBSA's temporary border facility in the city

of Cornwall requires Akwesasne residents to drive off reserve and

Qof Cornwall requires Akwesasne residents to drive off reserve and

into Cornwall to check in voluntarily with Canadian border guards

when they return from the United States. Although it is unclear how

CBSA will enforce this rule, a CBSA spokesperson noted on July 13

that the Agency would "use all of the tools that it normally uses to

ensure that border integrity is not compromised, including working

with community and law enforcement partners." CBSA did not comment

on how long the temporary post would remain open, and a spokesperson

would not speculate on the prospects for the return of border guards

to the reserve, noting only that the agency "continues to explore

options for long-term solutions and we remain committed to ongoing

talks with the Mohawk Council and other stakeholders to arrive at a

viable solution."

¶7. (U) Prior to the current dispute, stakeholders had at least

explored the possible relocation of the border crossing permanently

off reserve land. However, Cornwall's mayor underlined in July that

a fixed customs post at the present temporary location would be too

disruptive. The Seaway Bridge drops traffic in front of a shopping

mall, near residential areas. On June 12 -- after the permanent

Cornwall Island crossing closed -- the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne

(MCA) (which is the elected council for the Canadian portion of

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Akwesasne) signed three agreements-in-principle with the Federal

Bridge Corporation Limited and Niagara Gas Transmission Limited for

the future construction of a new low-level bridge joining that point

to Cornwall Island.



¶8. (U) When the temporary border post opened in mid-July, a RCMP

spokesperson observed that its new location was unlikely to have an

overall impact on law enforcement efforts. However, RCMP noted that

smugglers had moved more activity east of Cornwall Island to the

Quebec section of Akwesasne, and had increased activity on the water

since the Cornwall Island post closed in May. In July, federal and

state authorities in Plattsburgh, NY announced the dismantling of an

alleged billion-dollar marijuana smuggling ring (Operation Iron

Curtain) that transited the Akwesasne reserve. The bust resulted in

charges against more than 45 people from Quebec to Florida. The

ring allegedly smuggled approximately $250 million worth of

high-grade marijuana into the U.S. annually. Investigators have

estimated that 10 to 15 major Indian criminal organizations, along

with external drug rings, annually move more than $1 billion of

high-grade marijuana and Ecstasy through Akwesasne and into the U.S.

Northeast. Prosecutors have estimated that law enforcers intercept

only 2 pct of that contraband. The reserve is also reportedly a

conduit for trafficking in cigarettes, guns, and humans.

¶9. (U) Akwesasne Grand Chief Mike Mitchell acknowledged in July that

the reserve constituted a jurisdictional "grey zone" that Canadian

and American police were reluctant to enter. He called on Canada to

give the Mohawks the legislative and judicial power to stop criminal

activity. The Akwesasne Mohawk Police Services (on the Canadian

side of the reserve) and the St. Regis Mohawk Tribal Police (on the

U.S. side) already work with external law enforcement agencies. The

two forces are part of a Joint Investigative Team created in 2001

that coordinates with specialized units, such as the Integrated

Border Enforcement Team (IBET) that includes RCMP, CBSA, CBP, and

ICE, as well as the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit and the

Proceeds of Crime section of the RCMP.



¶10. (SBU) Relations between the Akwesasne community and the RCMP and

CBSA have long been problematic. INAC officials acknowledged that

the community may feel "squeezed" by a convergence of recent

factors, including negative publicity over smuggling, CBSA's

firearms policy, and the implementation of the U.S. Western

Hemisphere Travel initiative (WHTI) on the land border beginning

June 1. The MCA has accused CBSA agents at the Cornwall island

border post of harassment, intimidation, and racial profiling of

Mohawk residents, while the border guards' union has reported that

Mohawks on the reserve had harassed and intimidated its members.

The MCA has opposed the arming of border guards as a matter of

community safety, as well as of sovereignty. The MCA complains that

CBSA had "informed" the MCA of its plan to arm the guards, but had

failed to consult it. The MCA has insisted that the Government of

Canada should consult with it on a government-to-government level,

arguing that CBSA does not have the authority to consult, or

negotiate, on behalf of Canada.

¶11. (U) In June, the MCA filed an application in the Federal Court

of Canada for judicial review of the decision of the Minister of

Public Safety to close the Cornwall Island border crossing. The MCA

QPublic Safety to close the Cornwall Island border crossing. The MCA

wants the Court to declare the closing unlawful and to order a delay

in the deployment of firearms by CBSA pending consultations with the

Akwesasne Mohawk community. The Court has not yet heard the


¶12. (U) The MCA cites aboriginal right to cross the border freely

under Article III of the 1794 Jay Treaty of Amity, Commerce, and

Navigation between Britain and the United States, which it argues

was confirmed by Section 35 of the Canadian Constitution Act of 1982

that recognized and affirmed "the existing aboriginal and treaty

rights of the aboriginal peoples of Canada." The MCA further argues

that right of free passage has been recognized in U.S. law,

including in the 1924 Immigration Act that stipulated that nothing

contained in the Act was intended to infringe upon the right of

"American Indians born in Canada to pass the borders of the United

States," and in section 289 of the U.S. Immigration and

Naturalization Act (INA). The MCA also cites Article 19 of the UN

Declaration on the Right of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), which

requires "States to consult and cooperate in good faith with the

indigenous peoples concerned through their own representative

institutions in order to obtain their free, prior and informed

consent before adopting and implementing legislative and

administrative measures that may affect them." (Canada and the

U.S., as well as Australia and New Zealand, voted against the UNDRIP

at the UNGA in September 2007.)

OTTAWA 00000597 003 OF 003

¶13. (SBU) According to INAC officials, Canada considers that the War

of 1812 extinguished Article III of the Jay Treaty and that it was

not therefore among the "existing" aboriginal and treaty rights

confirmed in the 1982 Constitution Act. They commented that it,

however, apparently remains a right under American law, as in the

aforementioned section 289 of the INA.



¶14. (SBU) In elections at Akwesasne on June 27, Mike Mitchell

defeated incumbent Tim Thompson to become Grand Chief of the MCA

(the highest office on the Canadian side of the reserve). Mitchell,

who had previously served as grand chief for 18 years, was sworn in

on July 6. On July 21, Mitchell commented publicly that the removal

of the border post from the reserve was the first step in creating a

form of Mohawk sovereignty, but he underscored that he was not

seeking full sovereignty. He added that the next step would be to

redraw the Canada-U.S. boundary to exclude native land. According

to INAC officials, however, Mitchell's career had been marked by a

"continuous and aggressive pursuit" of aboriginal sovereignty, and

that Mitchell was prone to a "certain rhetorical flourish." They

advised that observers "should not be too rattled by his

declarations." Nor does INAC expect the election on July 22 of

Shawn Atleo as the new Grand Chief of the Assembly of First Nations

(AFN) -- the largest national aboriginal advocacy group in Canada --

to change the federal aboriginal agenda. INAC officials predicted

that the AFN would continue to focus on poverty alleviation and

economic development, rather than on sovereignty.



¶15. (SBU) INAC continues to work on upgrading Certificate of Indian

Status cards, including ensuring that the documents are

WHTI-compliant. The existing laminated documents, which are used to

access federal services and benefits, are vulnerable to forgery and

abuse. INAC began planning for introduction of a new Secure

Certificate of Indian Status (SCIS) in 2001, and is on track to roll

them out by the end of the year. CBSA and the Department of

Homeland Security (DHS) have approved them as WHTI-compliant

documents for land and sea crossings as an alternative to passports.

INAC officials blamed "administrative technicalities" for missing

the goal to roll-out the cards nationally by the June 1 WHTI

implementation date. INAC officials declined to specify a new

timetable apart from "in the fall."

¶16. (U) In the interim, First Nations may continue to use existing

Certificate of Indian Status cards at the border at the discretion

of U.S. border officials. Some Canadian First Nations, including

the Mohawks, have also developed aboriginal passports, which members

have sometimes presented at Canadian, U.S., and other international

ports of entry, apparently with occasional success. Canada does not

recognize the documents, but leaves it to other countries to

determine the entry documents they accept.

¶17. (SBU) Comment: Canada has so far failed to devise a lasting

resolution of the CBSA/Akwesasne dispute, sidestepping the key

issues of sovereignty and effective law enforcement. The sensitive

file appears still to lack an integrated government response, as

well as some tough political choices that could potentially alienate

either the larger Canadian public or the First Nations.


Wikileaks Cable: Mohawks Borders, Land Claims, Treaty Rights

DE RUEHOT #0643/01 2331437
R 211437Z AUG 09
E.O.: 12958: N/A

¶1. (SBU) Summary: The recent imbroglio between the Canadian Border

Services Agency and the Mohawk community of Akwesasne over armed

agents at the crossing point on Cornwall Island, Ontario (reftel)

highlights again the complexity, lack of clarity, and evolving

nature of relations between the federal and provincial governments

and Canada's aboriginal populations. Slow progress on

self-government and land claims pose ongoing human rights

challenges. As long as Canada lacks a clear legal definition of

aboriginal titles and rights, effective mechanisms to resolve First

Nations grievances in a timely manner will remain elusive. End




¶2. (U) According to the latest census (2006), aboriginal Canadians

-- Indians, Inuit, and Metis (persons of mixed aboriginal and

European ancestry)) -- number almost 1.2 million, or approximately 4

pct of the total population. "Status Indians" (Indians with

federally recognized aboriginal status) constitute 60 pct of the

aboriginal population, Metis 33 pct, and Inuit 4 pct. The

aboriginal population increased by 45 pct from 1996 to 2006, nearly

six times faster than the non-aboriginal growth rate. The median

age of the aboriginal population is 27 years (compared to 40 years

for non-aboriginal peoples) and 31 pct is under the age of 14.

According to Statistics Canada, aboriginal peoples on average

experience poorer health outcomes, worse housing conditions, lower

rates of high school completion, and higher unemployment than the

non-aboriginal population. In 2007-2008, aboriginals accounted for

22 pct of the adult incarcerated population.

¶3. (U) The federal Department of Indian and Northern Affairs (INAC)

recognizes 615 First Nations (Status Indian) communities across all

ten provinces and two territories. Canada's third territory,

Nunavut, is an Inuit "homeland," in which 83.6 pct of the population

is Inuit. Approximately 60 pct of aboriginal people in Canada now

live off-reserve, up from 58 percent in 1996. Ontario has the

largest aboriginal population (21 pct of the provincial population),

but the four western provinces are home to 61 pct of the total

aboriginal population.

¶4. (U) The 1876 Indian Act is the principal federal legislation

defining aboriginal status, governance, and eligibility for federal

benefits and services. INAC is responsible for the administration

of the Act, along with another 58 laws relating to First Nations,

and shares responsibility with other federal government departments

for 17 other related statutes.



¶5. (U) As an alternative to federal stewardship under the Indian

Act, Canada acknowledges self-government as an "inherent" aboriginal

right within the meaning of section 35(1) of the 1982 Constitution

Act. Since 1982, the federal and provincial governments and

aboriginal groups have attempted to negotiate a clearer definition

of "aboriginal right" to add to the Constitution, but have failed to

agree. In 1995, the then-Liberal federal government began including

(in conjunction with provincial governments) proposals for

aboriginal self-government as part of negotiations on comprehensive

land claims as an alternative to potentially costly litigation.

¶6. (U) The "inherent" right of self-government does not grant a

right of sovereignty in the sense of international law, and does not

create sovereign independent aboriginal nation states. Rather,

federal guidelines underscore that First Nations exercise only

self-government under the Constitution. The Canadian Charter of

Qself-government under the Constitution. The Canadian Charter of

Rights and Freedoms also applies fully to aboriginal governments.

In 2005, the government of British Columbia entered into a "New

Relationship" with its First Nations based on accommodation of

aboriginal title and rights and acknowledgement of aboriginal titles

over much of the province. The B.C. provincial government

subsequently proposed a "Recognition and Reconciliation Act," but

has not yet tabled it in the legislature.

¶7. (U) All self-government agreements the federal government has

signed with First Nations differentiate jurisdiction as follows:

-- issues that are integral to distinct aboriginal culture (e.g.

governance, status, language, culture, education, health, social

services, law enforcement, resource management, taxation, and

economic development) fall under the exclusive administration of

aboriginal governments;

-- areas where primary law-making authority remains with the federal

and/or provincial government if in conflict with aboriginal law

(e.g. environmental protection, natural resource co-management,

penitentiaries, and emergency preparedness); and,

-- areas that are not integral to aboriginal cultures, or internal

to aboriginal groups, and where the federal government retains its

exclusive law-making authority, including national defense and

security, security of national borders, immigration, and

international trade as well as "other national interest powers" such

as regulation of the national economy, maintenance of law and order,

health and safety, and transportation. In 2011, the federal

government will also extend the Canadian Human Rights Act to First

Nations people on reserves (including those under self-government

agreements) for the first time.


OTTAWA 00000643 002 OF 003

¶8. (U) Lack of a standard model for resolving comprehensive land

claims, self-government agreements, and the absence of a clear legal

definition of what constitutes an "aboriginal right" have resulted

in complex multi-year negotiations, a significant claims backlog,

and friction between aboriginal communities and the federal and

provincial governments. Even for completed treaties and agreements,

litigation may still occur. INAC is the lead department tasked with

negotiating and implementing land claims and self-government

agreements with First Nations on behalf of the federal government.

In 2003, some First Nations dissatisfied with the implementation of

their treaties formed the Land Claims Agreements Coalition. Whereas

the federal government regards completed comprehensive land claims

treaties and self-government agreements as, in principle, the

discharge of its obligations, members of the Land Claims Agreements

Coalition have underscored that they see such agreements as not an

end, but the beginning of new relationships, with ongoing federal


¶9. (U) According to INAC officials, court rulings have been the

principal "game-changers" in recognizing aboriginal rights and

giving aboriginal communities greater control over their own

decisions. However, since 2006 the federal government under Prime

Minister Stephen Harper has also promoted economic development and a

more business-oriented approach as a new direction in its relations

with aboriginal communities. PM Harper cancelled the 2005 Kelowna

Accord negotiated by the previous Liberal government, which would

have mandated federal spending of C$5 billion over ten years on

aboriginal social services. In June 2009, the federal government

launched a new "Federal Framework for Aboriginal Economic

Development," promising government collaboration, private sector

partnerships, skills development, and easier access to capital. In

August 2009, PM Harper used an Arctic tour to announce a new

economic development strategy and creation of a new Canadian

Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor) in Iqaluit, Nunavut.

The government's "Northern Strategy" emphasizes the role of

aboriginal peoples in strengthening Canadian Arctic sovereignty,

protecting the environment, and promoting economic and social

development in the North.

¶10. (U) Some First Nations have also pushed to replace the Indian

Act with more modern partnerships. In July 2009, chiefs across the

country elected Shawn Atleo as the new National Chief of the

Assembly of First Nations on a platform of economic development,

self-sufficiency, and tackling poverty. Bands in Atleo's home

province of B.C. have built on land claims settlements, resource

rights, and self-government agreements to launch businesses and

generate new sources of revenue.



¶11. (U) Aboriginal leaders have insisted that land and control over

its resources are the key to self-sufficiency. There are two types

of aboriginal land claims. "Comprehensive claims" deal with

aboriginal rights and titles that have not previously been settled

by treaty or other means. In these cases, the federal government

negotiates new treaties. "Specific claims" deal with First Nations'

grievances arising from alleged non-fulfillment of federal

obligations under existing treaties or other legal obligations, or

from the way the federal government has managed First Nations' funds

or assets. Resolution may take the form of additions to existing

treaties, transfers of land, cash, or resource rights. In 2008, the

Qtreaties, transfers of land, cash, or resource rights. In 2008, the

federal government had more than 60 separate ongoing negotiations

for comprehensive land claims and more than 800 specific claims

remained outstanding.

¶12. (U) The Crown signed more than 70 treaties with First Nations

between 1701 and 1923. Subsequently, the federal government has

negotiated and ratified 21 additional treaties covering 40 pct of

Canada's land mass. The impetus for negotiation of comprehensive

land claims stemmed from a landmark 1973 Supreme Court of Canada

ruling confirming that aboriginal peoples' historic occupation of

the land gave them legal rights not previously subject to treaties

(principally in British Columbia, southern Alberta, and the Yukon).

The federal government established processes to resolve

comprehensive claims through negotiation in 1973 as an optional

alternative to costly litigation. It signed the first comprehensive

land claims agreement in 1975. The Constitution Act of 1982

(section 35 (1)) further "recognized and affirmed" the "existing

aboriginal and treaty rights of the aboriginal peoples of Canada."

¶13. (U) In October 2008, the federal government "retooled" the

previous specific claims process to establish a new independent

Specific Claims Tribunal to expedite cases. The Tribunal, composed

of six provincial superior court judges selected in consultation

with the Assembly of First Nations (Canada's largest aboriginal

advocacy group), has the authority to make binding decisions on

claims that have been rejected for negotiation, or where

negotiations fail, on claims up to C$150 million (approximately $140

million). It has not yet publicly registered any judgments.

¶14. (SBU) COMMENT: Canadian courts have been the primary drivers of

federal and provincial efforts to resolve aboriginal grievances,

both in imposing new obligations and in encouraging negotiations to

preempt litigation. However, as long as Canada lacks a clear

definition of aboriginal rights or a uniform model for negotiations,

OTTAWA 00000643 003 OF 003

effective mechanisms to resolve aboriginal grievances in a timely

manner will remain elusive.



Wikileaks Montreal Cable: Mohawks 2004
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
04MONTREAL874 2004-06-23 20:42 2011-05-03 09:30 CONFIDENTIAL
Consulate Montreal
Appears in these articles:
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

232042Z Jun 04id: 18097
date: 6/23/2004 20:42
refid: 04MONTREAL874
origin: Consulate Montreal
classification: CONFIDENTIAL
destination: 04MONTREAL68

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text
of the original cable is not available.
232042Z Jun 04
----------------- header ends ----------------



E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/22/2009





¶B. B) QUEBEC 80

Classified By: Bernadette Allen, Consul General, Montreal, State. Reas

on: 1.5(B)

¶1. (C) SUMMARY: The Mohawk territory of Kanesatake has

become a haven for marijuana cultivation, drug dealing, arms

possession, and other organized criminal activity, ousted

Grand Chief James Gabriel told Consulate representatives on

June 17. Gabriel, who has not been able to return to

Kanesatake since his home was burned to the ground in

January, said that the specter of the 1990 Oka crisis and

fear of deadly violence, have prevented the Surete du Quebec

and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police from taking action.


¶2. (C) Accompanied by aid Dean Dussault, Grand Chief James

Gabriel spoke to Consulate officers for over an hour and a

half about the trouble-plagued Kanesatake reserve, one of

three Mohawk territories in the province of Quebec.

Kanesatake (population 1,400) located on the North shore of

the Saint Lawrence river some 50 kilometers from Montreal,

was the sight of the 1990 Oka crisis, in which opposition to

the expansion of a golf course on Mohawk burial grounds led

to a summer-long stand-off between Mohawk warriors and SQ

officers and Canadian Forces and resulted in the death of an

SQ officer.

¶3. (C) Chief Gabriel said that the narcotics trade in

Kanesatake took off in the mid-1990s. He noted that there

had been an SQ intervention in 1995, led by then Quebec

Public Security Minister Serge Menard, in which 20 to 30

acres and 100,000 marijuana plants were destroyed, yet no

arrests were made. After the raids, marijuana cultivation

moved inside, with as many as five underground bunkers

constructed to house hydroponic grow-operations on the

territory. Gabriel estimated that between five and seven

hundred pounds of marijuana is smuggled off the territory

each week, for export to the United States. Gabriel said

that the drug traffic now also includes heroin and other hard

drug sales. Gabriel believes that an investigation of the

money trail would show that the local bank in Oka sued by

Kanesatake residents, the XXXXXXXXXXX, is awash in large

American dollar deposits.

¶4. (C) Chief Gabriel identified the leaders of the narcotics

trade as XXXXXXXXXXXX and XXXXXXXXXXXX (both of whom are related to

James Gabriel) and said they are affiliated with the Hells'

Angels biker gang, and to a lesser extent, Chinese and

Russian mafia groups. According to James Gabriel, Robert

Gabriel, has never had a full-time job -- and his wife

recently applied for welfare -- yet Robert lives in a home

worth several hundred thousand dollars and drives expensive


¶5. (C) Gabriel was first elected Kanesatake Grand Chief in

2001, though in effect he led a minority government as four

of the seven Band Council members were "less than

enthusiastic about law enforcement." However, in July 2003

elections, Gabriel gained a majority; he and three other

Council members took a decision to bring the territory's

ineffective police force "back up to par" and Gabriel began

talking to the SQ and RCMP about support for action against

the criminal elements that had taken root on the reserve.

Gabriel said that plans to replace the police chief and bring

in an outside aboriginal police unit were leaked, however,

and the new force got "boxed in" at police headquarters on

January 12, leading to the 30-hour blockade by masked, armed

men surrounding the station (see Ref. A).

¶6. (C) Quebec Public Security Minister Jacques Chagnon's

negotiation of a temporary fix -- which reinstated the old

police chief and brought in Mohawk peacekeepers from the

near-by Kahnawake reserve to serve as an interim police force

-- was mainly "an image-boosting" exercise, according to

Gabriel. The peacekeepers did little to police the territory

and ultimately left in March. There has been no real

policing in Kanesatake since January, Gabriel said.

¶7. (C) The three chiefs on the Band Council who side with

Gabriel, Chiefs Clarence Simon, Marie Chene and Doreen

Canatonquin, remain in Kanesatake but are keeping low

profiles because they face harassment by people loyal to the

dissident chiefs and criminal gangs. Gabriel said that the

dissident chiefs, John Harding, and Pearl and Steven

Bonspile, periodically make appearances in the media,

"wrapping themselves in the cloak of Mohawk sovereignty."

Gabriel said that the whole Band Council never meets; when

decisions have to be taken regarding the administration of

the territory, Gabriel meets with Chiefs Simon, Chene and

Contonquin at the hotel in Laval (about two kilometers from

Kanesatake) where Gabriel has lived since January. The

dissident chiefs have called for an election on July 14 to

choose a new Grand Chief, claiming that James Gabriel has

abandoned the territory. But James Gabriel says that there

is no way a fair election, supervised by an impartial,

outside monitoring organization, can be held in July. James

Gabriel said that any election will have to be delayed;

lawyers have advised him that the current Band Council could

remain in power for a few months beyond their mandate if

conditions do not permit an election.

¶8. (C) Gabriel has been in continuous dialogue with the SQ

and RCMP to reestablish a police force, but to date, police

officers have only patrolled the highway surrounding

Kanesatake, and not actually entered the territory. The SQ

has been working with a Mohawk police force in preparation to

re-enter the territory, but so far has held back entering

Kanesatake, leading to much frustration on the Mohawks' part.

Gabriel said that there has been friction recently between

the Mohawk police and their SQ sponsors; cooperation has been

threatened by a personnel dispute, and mistrust on both

sides. At bottom, the Mohawk force would like to enter the

territory and begin enforcing the law; the SQ feels the time

is not right, and that violence would ensue if either or both

the SQ and the Mohawk force were to go into Kanesatake.

¶9. (C) Though it is clear that Gabriel is in close contact

with the Quebec government (which is putting him up in the

Laval hotel), Gabriel expressed deep frustration over the

unwillingness of either the Quebec or federal government to

bring law and order to Kanesatake. Though the Oka crisis has

been repeatedly raised by the Quebec media and government

officials, Gabriel said the current situation is very

different from 1990, when the Kanesatake population and

Mohawks from the other Quebec reserves supported the Mohawk

warriors' stance. He said that the traditional Mohawk

Warrior Society, which stood up during the Oka crisis, and

"the group of thugs" calling itself warriors in Kanesatake

today are different. Other First Nations tribes in Quebec

have been supportive of Gabriel, citing their concern about

the vulnerability of their own native communities to

organized crime infiltration. Gabriel said that the only

support that the dissident Chiefs have been able to summon is

from professional activists like Jaggi Singh and Sean Brandt.

And, contrary to claims made by SQ officials to the Quebec

Consul General in May (see Ref B), Gabriel says there has

been no influx of Mohawks from other reserves, in Canada or

the Untied States.

¶10. (C) Gabriel is disheartened by the Quebec Security

Minister Jacques Chagnon's repeated characterizations of the

problem as a dispute between Mohawk factions that an election

could resolve. He feels that Chagnon, supported by Quebec

Premier Jean Charest, simply wants the Kanesatake situation

to be "quiet," even if the drug trade and criminal activity

flourish. But Gabriel said that young people on the

territory -- who have few employment opportunities -- are

influenced by the apparent affluence and lifestyles of the

drug dealers and criminals. He believes the criminal

activity problems will only grow worse, as more community

members are drawn into it.

¶11. (C) Gabriel also cited fears of people "taking the law

into their own hands." He said that people on both sides of

the conflict have arms in Kanesatake. According to (James)

Gabriel, in addition to hunting weapons XXXXXXXXXXXX has

explosives, assault weapons and rocket launchers. "Most of

our community members can recognize the sound of an AK-47,"

Gabriel said. Gabriel and his aid Dussault both emphasized

the difficulty for the "silent majority" in Kanesatake to

speak out in their small community against criminals that

everyone knows and sees often. But given the prevalence of

weaponry on the territory, Gabriel said he is very afraid

that "blood feuds" will surface."

¶12. (U) Grand Chief Gabriel gave an exclusive interview to

the Journal de Montreal on the same day he visited the

Consulate. During the course of the interview, he revealed

something he had mentioned briefly to us: the fact that for

the past year Kanesatake has been under the administrative

supervision of the Ministry of Indian Affairs, assigned to a

PricewaterhouseCoopers accountant working full-time from an

office in Oka (situated next to the Kanesatake territory).

According to Gabriel, Kanesatake had racked up an accumulated

deficit of C$4 million by 2003. Ottawa had imposed financial

supervision prior to Gabriel's attaining the majority on the

Band Council that year, Gabriel emphasized.

¶13. (U) The tabloid Journal focused on the fact that part of

the territory's deficit stemmed from mortgage payments made

on individual Kanesatake homes -- including that of Robert

Gabriel -- that the Ministry of Indian Affairs deducted from

Kanesatake's budget. Apparently, the Ministry customarily

co-signs mortgage loans for native applicants. According to

what James Gabriel told Le Journal, when Robert Gabriel was

unable to make payments on his $185,000 mortgage, the

Ministry of Indian Affairs paid the debt in full, subtracted

the sum from the Band Council's budget, and transferred the

property -- a large mansion with a pool -- to the Council's

ownership. However, Robert Gabriel and his family continued

to live there. Robert Gabriel, who has been accused of

participating in the January 12 riot and blockade at the

police station, is under court order currently to stay away

from Kanesatake.

¶14. (C) Gabriel's story conforms to information gathered

from law enforcement contacts of the Consulate. There is

indeed great concern on the part of both the federal and

provincial police about the arms on the territory, and the

deadly confrontations that could result if a full-scale raid

were to be mounted and a new police unit installed. We

understand that an RCMP force would be prepared to enter

Kanesatake territory if "something blows" and violence

occurs, but for now, both the SQ and the RCMP are holding

back. The fate of James Gabriel and his Mohawk police force

remains to be seen. He told us that he is concerned the

Kanesatake situation will fade from he public eye if

enforcement actions are not taken soon. But he was equally

certain that the territory is a tinderbox, ready to explode.


=======================CABLE ENDS============================

Wikileaks Cable: Mohawks, Kanesatake, May 2004



If you are new to these pages, please read an introduction on the

structure of a cable as well as how to discuss them with others. See

also the FAQs

04QUEBEC80 2004-05-17 22:52 2011-05-03 09:30 CONFIDENTIAL Consulate Quebec
Appears in these articles:
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text

of the original cable is not available.
172252Z May 04id: 16992
date: 5/17/2004 22:52
refid: 04QUEBEC80
origin: Consulate Quebec
classification: CONFIDENTIAL
destination: 04MONTREAL68
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text
of the original cable is not available.
172252Z May 04
----------------- header ends ----------------

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 QUEBEC 000080




E.O. 12958: DECL: 5/17/2009




CLASSIFIED BY: susan keogh, consul general, Quebec, State.

REASON: 1.5 (B)

CLASSIFIED BY: susan keogh, consul general, Quebec, State.

REASON: 1.5 (B)

¶1. Confidential - Entire text.

¶2. (C) Summary: The situation within the Mohawk settlement of

Kanesatake, a territory (not a reserve) bordering the U.S.,

remains tense and complicated but some progress has been made in

keeping the peace in the past week. Quebec's provincial police

force (SQ) has taken the lead in mounting day and night patrols

in Kanesatake without incident in close coordination with the

RCMP. Grand Chief James Gabriel, burned out of his house in

January by a mob, remains in a hotel in the Montreal area.

Quebec's Miniistry of Public Security told DCM Kelly and CG

Keogh that the tripartite strategy is to avoid counterreaction

by the heavily armed "warriors" and to deal with criminal

elements through the court system. The Quebec authorities have

asked for greater coordination with the FBI on the situation.

End Summary

¶3. (C) In a meeting with Deputy Minister Luc Crepaualt and

Director General Georges Beauchemin May 14, the two told DCM

Kelly and Quebec Consul General Keogh that the situation in the

Kanesatake territory bordering the U.S. is calm but fragile.

"Warriors" among the 1,400 inhabitants continue to pose major

security headaches for the Quebec Ministry of Public Security,

however, with a very aggressive, confrontational approach,

although some progress has been made in the last week.

¶4. (C) At the request of the aboriginal authorities, Quebec's

police force (SQ) has been conducting regular day and night

patrols in the territory for the past week, apparently

well-received and breaking several weeks of no-man's land

lawlessness. There is solid cooperation with the RCMP

including daily telephone calls. While the 7-week-old

tripartite policing agreement between the SQ, RCMP and Grand

Chief James Gabriel's Band Council is now being implemented,

Gabriel remains in a hotel near Montreal ("living high at

government expense") with a troop of several dozen Mohawk

warriors, unable to return to Kanesatake. An election to see if

Gabriel can continue as Grand Chief is planned for July 7.

Meanwhile, Mohawks from other reserves continue to arrive in

Kanesatake, including some from Colorado, to join in the


¶5. (C) Apart from the patrolling, Beauchemin said any police

operations would be interpreted as an "invasion." The Quebec

Government wants to avoid a 1996 Oka-type situation where a

mechanized brigade had to intervene and there were costly social

and political reactions. "Anything we do to squash a fly will

give rise to huge problems." The strategy is to avoid

counterreaction and "psychodrama" by keeping a low profile.

¶6. (C) The Charest Government has refused a $1.5 million

request by Police Chief Ed Thompson to increase the native

police force to 38 people. Thompson and his peacekeepers have

never been able to patrol and had to retire after being pelted

with rocks and sticks, with minor injuries. Having funded the

first group of warriors/police that Gabriel hired earlier this

year, who were virtually taken hostage inside Kanesatake, we

understand Ottawa is also hesitating to provide more police


¶7. (C) The role of Quebec security forces is prominent because

Kanesatake is not a reserve but a settlement ("etablissement").

The patchwork of land belongs to the federal government but it

does not have the status of reserve territory. Federal law

applies to governance but the province canene ito agreemens

ith th BandCunci on olicin. The Qubec police (SQ) are

more accepted than the RCMP. With long memories, the Mohawk

remember that the RCMP killed one of theirs in 1916. Beauchemin

described the situation as akin to a family quarrel with people

held hostage: the two embattled factions have been warring for

200 years, he added. A 5-year old law to consolidate the area

in a new juridical arrangement has not been implemented. This

ambiguity has contributed to the current anarchic, destabilized

situation at Kanesatake. It started as a governance problem

with related Band Council members refusing to talk to each

other, but degenerated into a law-and-order problem with a lot

of firepower involved. Beauchemin spoke of rocket launchers,

among other weaponry, in the hands of the warriors, seen in the

newspapers in military fatigues and with faces covered.

Beauchemin noted that these weapons were easy to acquire: he had

spent 15 minutes on line and was able to purchase a whole range

of weapons: "You can get anything on the Internet from the

United States," he said. In his view, the Mohawks were

prepared to use them.

¶8. (C) The Quebec side acknowledged that a breakdown of law

and order of the magnitude that has happened at Kanesatake would

be intolerable outside of an aboriginal area. Trying to avoid a

costly confrontation, yet dealing with scofflaws, they have

launched three criminal investigations, infiltrating the highly

criminalized elements and using the courts to prosecute

offenders. One investigation involves those charged with

offenses during the riot of January 12; another involves the

burning of Chief Gabriel's house; a third involves a mixed squad

of police in a longer-term investigation of organized crime.

Asked about U.S. role, the Public Security Ministry officials

requested (as Minister Chagnon has asked us in the past) better

coordination with the FBI in a situation where U.S. interests

are involved and the SQ is taking a lead role on the ground.

Some "gun slingers" have already arrived from the U.S., and more

could come. Beauchemin said in this case, the situation could

evolve negatively, although he thought this to be unlikely.


=======================CABLE ENDS============================

UN Global Indigenous Women's Caucus Statement 2011

International: Global Indigenous Women's Caucus Statement - UN Permanent Forum On Indigenous Issues 10th Session

UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, Tenth Session
May 16-27, 2011 Agenda Item 3 (a) Follow-up to the recommendations of the Permanent Forum: Economic and Social Development

Honorable Madame Chairperson,

Members of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, distinguished representatives of Indigenous Peoples, sisters and brothers here today,

Indigenous women have a central role to play in the advancement of Indigenous peoples’ human rights and well-being and we welcome the opportunity to play this role throughout this 10th session of the UN Permanent Forum, and we respectfully request that our recommendations be integrated into the final report.

The key concerns that we will be highlighting throughout this session include: promotion of the leadership capacity of Indigenous women and girls (including within Indigenous governance systems and development programs and policies), the rights of Mother Earth (including the protection of sacred rights and the sacred right to water), violence caused by the militarization of Indigenous communities, the need for support of Indigenous women’s role in addressing environmental impacts and Climate Change (including reproductive health rights), food sovereignty, impact of extractive industries on Indigenous communities, unrepresented and unrecognized Indigenous peoples, migration and border issues. We would also like to support the examination of the following issues: using CEDAW to advance Indigenous women’s rights, the need for a standardized interpretation of free, prior and informed consent consistent with the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Doctrine of Discovery and the proposed World Conference on Indigenous Peoples.

The Global Indigenous Women’s Caucus endorses and recommends the UN Permanent Forum to consider the following: 1) the “Position on Women and REDD+” by the Indigenous Environmental Network, 2) the statement on the right to water and Indigenous peoples submitted by the American Indian Law Alliance and Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Development, 3) the “People’s Agreement of Cochabamba,” the final document of the World’s People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth (April 22, 2010), and 4) the proposal by the Global Indigenous Caucus and the North American Indigenous Peoples Caucus for an Expert Group meeting to address the impacts on environmental toxins on the health of Indigenous women, including their reproductive health, in 2012 before the UN Permanent Forum’s 11th Session.

As it is the first time we take the floor, we would like to welcome the new Members of the Permanent Forum to your positions as well as the returning Members, and look forward to working with you for the betterment of Indigenous women, their families and Nations throughout the world.
We offer the following recommendations in relation to Agenda Item 3(a) Follow-up to the recommendations of the Permanent Forum: Economic and Social Development.


1. We call upon the Permanent Forum to urge the United Nations system and states to strengthen capacity building and leadership initiatives for Indigenous women in order to facilitate their full and effective participation in the assessment, planning, implementation, and evaluation of economic and social development programs and policies undertaken by UN agencies, government agencies, and transnational corporations in Indigenous territories and communities, as well as to participate in their own development models, policies and practices. Furthermore, by strengthening Indigenous women’s capacity building and leadership, this will facilitate the exercise of their right to free, prior and informed consent.

2. We welcome the Permanent Forum’s recognition that Indigenous peoples’ development is intimately linked with education and urge the Permanent Forum to further advance its recommendation that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and other United Nations agencies convene an Expert Group Meeting on bilingual, intercultural and multilingual education. Furthermore, we urge the Permanent Forum to continue to ensure recognition of the need for holistic educational programs that take into consideration Indigenous women’s traditional knowledge, pedagogical and didactic practices, and worldviews; and that promote the use and preservation of indigenous languages.
3. Based on paragraphs 33 and 35 of the Permanent Forum’s Report on the 3rd Session, we urge the Permanent Forum to recommend the United Nations system that in implementing culturally appropriate economic and social development programs and policies, it is necessary to recognize the diverse community roles that Indigenous women and girls have, the diversity of gender and age relations, the traditional mechanisms of gender and age definition and distinction, and the inter-generational work in Indigenous communities. These distinctive elements must be adequately reflected in the programs and policies of the systems of the UN, member states and Indigenous peoples.

4. We call upon the Permanent Forum to urge UN agencies, government agencies and transnational corporations to encourage economic development projects that address the most pressing subsistence and health needs of Indigenous communities to promote traditional practices aimed at achieving food sovereignty and holistic health systems.

5. In its 3rd Session Report, paragraph 12, the Permanent Forum calls upon the International Organization on Migration (IOM) to address the urgency of the problems faced by Indigenous migrant women, including the alarming trend of forced trafficking of Indigenous women within and across national and international borders. Given that the Indigenous women’s migration is greatly increasing, we recommend the Permanent Forum requests the IOM to report on its progress achieved in addressing these issues. Furthermore, due to ongoing development projects, environmental degradation and economic crises, we request that special attention is given to Indigenous women’s rights. These rights include the right to move and migrate freely throughout their lands and territories (in the face of involuntary displacement and state relocation of Indigenous communities) and the right to live free from violence experienced by migrant Indigenous women and girls and, indeed, all cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women

Migrant Trail Press Conference May 30, 2011

The Migrant Trail: We Walk for Life

May 30-June 5, 2011 A 75 mile walk from Sásabe, Sonora, MX to Tucson, AZ

Photo by Brenda Norrell. Migrant Trail.
Press conference Monday, May 30, 2011

The precarious reality of our borderlands calls us to walk. We are a spiritually diverse, multi-cultural group who walk together on a journey of peace to remember people, friends and family who have died, others who have crossed, and people who continue to come. We bear witness to the tragedy of death and of the inhumanity in our midst. Lastly, we walk as a community, in defiance of the borders that attempt to divide us, committed to working together for the human dignity of all peoples.

There will be a press conference on Monday, May 30th at 10:30am at Southside Presbyterian Church (317 W. 23rd Street in Tucson, Arizona). The press conference will be held shortly before participants and supporters will head down to Sásabe, Sonora for the beginning of the Migrant Trail.

The purpose of the Migrant Trail is to call attention to the human rights crisis occurring on our borders. Since the 1990s, more than 5,000 men, women and children have lost their lives while attempting to cross the U.S. - México border. As the summer heat approaches, and triple-digit temperatures arrive, this number will dramatically increase, and many will die a horrible death of dehydration, exposure and hyperthermia. Last year, the number of human remains recovered on the Arizona-Sonora border reached a staggering 253; this is the second-deadliest year on record of migrant deaths. The remains of at least 88 individuals have been recovered thus far this fiscal year (the fiscal year runs from October 1 - September 30). These deaths must stop.

In no way is this journey meant to convey that we have lived the migrant experience. We will have food and water on our journey. We will have medical attention and aid at every step. Participants will be camping at various sites along the way. We will have sufficient rest and protection. We will have what no migrant holds as certain: assurance of reaching our destination. Our intent is to declare solidarity with our migrant brothers and sisters. It is important to understand the dangers that these brave men, women and children face. We will share our experiences with our communities, and will give testimony of our trek through the desert.

Please consider being part of the Migrant Trail this year. By bearing witness with us, you will see and experience for yourself the journey that thousands have made, including the extreme temperatures and terrain of the Sonoran Desert, and the isolation of the journey. You will have the insight into the extent that human beings are willing to go to in order to secure a better future for themselves and their children. Knowing what extreme suffering migrants endure to get here also leads us to consider the economic, political and social factors that drive them to risk and often lose their lives on our border.

For more information, or to confirm your participation on the Migrant Trail, please contact Kat Rodriguez at 520-770-1373 or Media participants will also gain access to the unpublished media cell phone. Participants will be available for interviews in either Spanish or English at this unpublished number during the week of the Migrant Trail.

In Solidarity,

The Migrant Trail 2011 Organizing Committee
The Migrant Trail

c/o Arizona Border Rights Foundation

P.O. Box 1286 Tucson, AZ 85702

Tel: 520.770.1373

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Censored News is published by censored journalist Brenda Norrell. A journalist for 27 years, Brenda lived on the Navajo Nation for 18 years, writing for Navajo Times, AP, USA Today, Lakota Times and other American Indian publications. After being censored and then terminated by Indian Country Today in 2006, she began the Censored Blog to document the most censored issues. She currently serves as human rights editor for the U.N. OBSERVER & International Report at the Hague and contributor to Sri Lanka Guardian, Narco News and CounterPunch. She was cohost of the 5-month Longest Walk Talk Radio across America, with Earthcycles Producer Govinda Dalton in 2008:
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