Kahnawake says it doesn’t recognize injunction issued against Mohawk land defenders

The Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke says it doesn’t recognize a Quebec court issued injunction against land defenders blocking Canadian Pacific (CP) owned railways that pass through its territory.

“It is truly unfortunate that CP is taking this rash course of action, which will only add to the problems at hand,” said Grand Chief Joseph Tokwiro Norton in a press release sent Tuesday evening.

The press release also says that their local police, the Kahnawake Peacekeepers, are the only policing agency with jurisdiction in Kahnawake who can enforce the injunction against the activists who have been blocking the train tracks for over two weeks.

“No one here will do Trudeau’s dirty work,” added Norton. “Our people have been peacefully protesting on our own Territory.”

The Peacekeepers said they don’t have a copy of the injunction and are, for the time being, ensuring everyone is safe.

“For now, the Peacekeepers, we’re going to continue what we’ve been doing, monitoring the site and ensuring that everyone on scene is safe and maintaining our territorial integrity,” said Peacekeeper communications officer Kyle Zachary in a phone interview

The injunction comes after Monday’s arrest of land defenders in Tyendinaga Mohawk territory who were impeding trains from passing through their land in support of Hereditary Chiefs of the Wet’suewet’en Nation opposed to the CGL pipeline in northern BC.

Meanwhile about 60 kilometers to the northwest, their Mohawk sister community of Kanesatake is slowing traffic heading into their territory.

“With everything that’s happening in Tyendinaga, Akwesasne, Kahnawake, we’re all showing our support. I’m here especially because of the two [Tyendinaga] land defenders that got hospitalized, I’m pretty upset about that, ” said 25 year old Mohawk woman Katsi’tsaronhk who was at the makeshift check point in Kanesatake.

The checkpoint is located on the same hill made famous nearly 30 years ago during the Oka crisis. And while Mohawks from both communities have said they’re not eager to repeat the events of 1990, they also appear to be unwilling to back down.

“I know that if anything does escalate then we’re prepared, but right now for the moment we’re being peaceful. We’re letting traffic through. So we’re gonna keep peaceful until need be,” said Katsi’tsaronhkwas with an uneasy laugh.

In addition to the Mohawk actions, other blockades in Quebec are ongoing.

Including the Mi’gmaq First Nation of Listuguj, also in its third week of blocking trains, an another blockade that sprung up Tuesday in Lennoxville, in Quebec’s Eastern Townships.

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