Military to say sorry for Mohawk inclusion in counter-insurgency manual

The Canadian military is expected to officially apologize early next year for including the Mohawk Warrior Society in a draft version of the military’s counter-insurgency manual, APTN National News has learned.

By Jorge Barrera
APTN National News
OTTAWA
–The Canadian military is expected to officially apologize early next year for including the Mohawk Warrior Society in a draft version of the military’s counter-insurgency manual, APTN National News has learned.

The text of the apology has been approved by the upper echelons of the military command, but details still need to be worked out on how to deliver the statement and on how big of an event should be staged.

A draft 2006 version of the military’s counter-insurgency manual was released publicly in March 2007 and it included a reference to the Mohawk Warrior Society in a section describing different types of insurgencies.

First Nations leaders immediately reacted with anger, saying it appeared to equate First Nations with terrorist groups like Hezbollah and the Taliban.

The apology is expected to be delivered in either January or February.

The Assembly of First Nations and representatives from Akwesasne are involved in the discussions.

A draft 2006 version of the military’s counter-insurgency manual was released publicly in March 2007 and it included a reference to the Mohawk Warrior Society in a section describing different types of insurgencies.

First Nations leaders immediately reacted with anger, saying it appeared to equate First Nations with terrorist groups like Hezbollah and the Taliban.

Former Akwesasne council Chief Cheryl Jacobs began writing letters to National Defence Minister Peter MacKay demanding an apology.

It wasn’t until 2009 that she received a response indicating that the military was considering the request.

Jacobs welcomed the news that an apology was in the works.

“I can’t wait for it to become a reality,” she said. “The black brush-stroke across all Aboriginal people in Canada will go in reverse.”

The reference to the Mohawk Warrior Society is highlighted in a section under the heading: Overview of Insurgencies and Counter-Insurgencies.

It quotes directly from the master’s thesis of military historian Timothy Winegard who has written a book on the 1990 Oka Crisis.

“The rise of radical Native American organizations, such as the Mohawk Warrior Society, can be viewed as insurgencies with specific and limited aims,” reads Winegard’s text, from his thesis titled The Court of Last Resort: The 1990 Oka Crisis and the Canadian Forces. “Although they do not seek complete control of the federal government, they do seek particular political concessions in their relationship with national governments and control (either overt or covert) of political affairs at a local/reserve…level, through the threat of, or us of, violence.”

The military said it had deleted the reference from the manual.

Online Producer / Ottawa

Before moving to become the APTN News social media producer, Mark was the executive producer for the news in eastern Canada. Before starting with APTN in 2009, Mark worked at CBC Radio and Television in Newfoundland and Labrador and Ottawa.


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