The oka crisis
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The Oka Crisis. HISTORICAL CONTEXT. While Quebec was looking into the idea of holding a new referendum on sovereignty, the Canadian First Nations were attempting to gain their own recognition as an independent people within Canada.

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The Oka Crisis

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The oka crisis

The Oka Crisis


Historical context

HISTORICAL CONTEXT

  • While Quebec was looking into the idea of holding a new referendum on sovereignty, the Canadian First Nations were attempting to gain their own recognition as an independent people within Canada.

  • CLIP #1: http://archives.cbc.ca/politics/civil_unrest/topics/99/


Summary

SUMMARY

  • WHO: Mohawk Nation, Kanesatake Reserve, Quebec

  • WHAT: Dispute over plans to expand a golf course on Native land.

  • WHEN: April 1990- September 1990 (Standoff lasted 11 weeks)

  • HOW: A barricade was erected at Oka.

  • WHY: The land which the mayor of Oka and other citizens of the city were eyeing for the new golf course was being claimed as long-held ancestral land by the Mohawks.


The standoff begins

The Standoff Begins

  • On July 11, 1990, the police attacked the barricade being guarded by the Natives. Shots were fired and Marcel Lemay, an agent with the Sûreté du Québec (provincial police force), was killed.

  • The conflict took on an entirely new perspective from that moment on. The Mohawk claims were no longer strictly territorial in nature, but rather a demand for recognition of Native independence.

  • CLIP#4

    http://archives.cbc.ca/politics/civil_unrest/topics/99/


Negotiations fail

Negotiations Fail

  • The government refused to negotiate while the Mohawk barricades were up and sent in the provincial police to erect its own barricades on the roads leading to the municipality of Oka and the Kanesatake reserve.

  • CLIP #5

    http://archives.cbc.ca/politics/civil_unrest/topics/99/


The showdown

The Showdown

  • Neither group was willing to dismantle their barricades and therefore Robert Bourassa (then Premier) called in the Canadian Armed Forces.

  • Despite the armed presence, negotiations were slow, and it took several weeks before roads were able to reopen to regular traffic.

  • CLIP #7

    http://archives.cbc.ca/politics/civil_unrest/topics/99/

  • CLIP #8

    http://archives.cbc.ca/politics/civil_unrest/topics/99/


Conclusion

Conclusion

  • Twenty days later, on September 26, 1990, the last barricades were taken down and the Warriors gave up the fight.

  • CLIP #10

    http://archives.cbc.ca/politics/civil_unrest/topics/99/


Discussion questions

Discussion Questions

  • What were the main causes of the Oka crisis?

  • Who were the major individuals involved in it?

  • What were the main events of the crisis during the summer of 1990?

  • How was the crisis eventually ended?

  • What was the impact of the crisis on relations between First Nations peoples and governments in Canada?

  • What were the main reasons for the First Nations peoples’ resentment against the government in Oka in 1990?

  • How did the Mohawks dramatize their anger and grievances against the government in the actions they took during the summer of 1990?

  • Do you think the Aboriginal people of Oka were right to be so angry with the government?

  • Do you think the Aboriginal people of Oka were right to take the steps they did to dramatize their anger and frustration? Could they have adopted any other means of protest?


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