The Oka crisis and its effects

The Oka Crisis, famously known for the effects it had on the indigenous people of the mohawk clan of Kanesatake, was and event that took place for 78 days, lasting from July 11, 1990, to September 26, 1990. The series of protest began calm a peaceful but soon lead to violence, and the live of two people.

 

The crisis began when the town of Oka wanted to destroy mohawk burial grounds for a golf course, the town wanted to expand and this was one of them. As soon as the announcement was made, hundred of indigenous people and sympathizers rallied up to for a barricade for the bulldozers. Upon realizing what was going on, the mayor of Oka called national guard to end the blockade. At first, it continued to be peaceful, until shots were broken out , leaving 2 men dead. At this point, the influence of the Oka Town Crisis had spread like wildfire, and sympathizers began to make other blockades and protests, but were either to small or was shut down by the national guard. The events of this crisis lasted 78 days until on September 26, 1990, the mayor of Oka decided to let go of the situation and gave the mohawk people their land.

 

In todays day and age, the Oka Crisis is remembered are a great uproar for indigenous rights, but its effect seemed to have been forgotten. To this day, indigenous land is still exploited for money, such as condos, factories, skyscrapers, etc… Another thing that even 30 years later hasn’t changed is the racism towards  native people and their cultures. In canada, only 52% of natives are employed, a sad small number, and we cannot forget the residential school, a dark past of our country to the people that once lived in it.

 

The hope of all this is, with the abilities of social media and the internet, it is so much easier to find stories about what things people have been through, and the employment rates, while still small, is larger then it was back during the 1990’s Oka Crisis times. And it the duty of this and all future generations to prevent an Oka crisis again.