Mohawk man’s house targeted in Kahnawake because of non-Indigenous wife

Tom Fennario
APTN National News
?KAHNAWAKE, QC –Marvin McComber was thinking of spending his Saturday morning doing yard work.

But that was before he heard about the protest planned to be held outside his house.

“I woke up to the neighbour hanging ‘marry out, get out’ signs on the telephone pole at five this morning,” said McComber. “Shortly after I noticed that my house and car was spray painted.”

Written on the side of the house in barely legible  red letters is what looks to be the word “frog”, a derogatory term used to describe a person of Quebecois descent.

Asked why someone would spray paint her car, McComber’s daughter Mariah, 18, said “It’s just because my mom is white, and they don’t want her here.”

McComber’s wife Terri is not Indigenous, so according to Kahnawake’s membership law, the McComber’s are not allowed to live in Kahnawake, even though McComber and their three children are all Mohawk.

The law also states that people cannot be evicted between Nov. 1 and May 1, which has led a grassroots organization in Kahnawake to declare May 1st to be “Moving Day” for non-Indigenous people living in the community.

Kahnawake Frog

With that deadline now passed, McComber knew he was in for a hectic morning. At around 10 a.m., a group of about 40 protesters walked down the street and stopped in front of the McComber house.

Carrying placards, they set up across the street.

“We’re here to peacefully protest against trespassing in the community against our Mohawk laws,” said protester Ohontsakate Montour.

Montour condemns the vandalism that occurred the night before, but says the protest is necessary.

“We’re here to show that we’re not going anywhere and we think that these people are here against the wishes of the community, against the majority, and we’re just here to voice our concerns,” he said.

Also taking part in the march were three Mohawk Council of Kahnawake (MCK) chiefs. Chief Carl Horn said that the law was put in place for the good of the community and to protect Mohawk lineage for generations to come.“We might end up as a municipality. I wanna make sure Kahnawake stays Mohawk land forever,” said Horn.

protesting kahnawake

McComber was irked to see council members taking part in the protest, despite its peaceful nature.

“It’s still intimidating, regardless if they’re saying or doing anything,” said McComber.

Asked for a comment about chiefs being in the protest, MCK press attaché Joe Delaronde said it’s their right to be there.

“There’s no doubt that the (membership) law is the law, and in any society if you have a law you have the right to express that you support that law…unless you don’t,” said Delaronde.

Across the street dozens of friends and family showed up in support of the McComber’s throughout the day. Many of them could see relatives standing across the street wanting the McComber family to leave.

our blood

“I grew up with Marvin,” said Timmy Montour whose brother-in-law was protesting 30 metres away.“Me being here today is going to cause problems for me later on, but I choose to be here because it’s (evictions) wrong. Anytime you’re hurting somebody, you’re doing something wrong.”The McComber’s are being targeted for other reasons are well said protester Ohontsakate Montour .

“The person who is illegally living here (Terri and Marvin McComber) is also in a lawsuit against the community that threatens our rights to self-governance, and threatens to take community funds from all aspects of the community,” said Montour.

The lawsuit has 16 claimants, and was filed against the MCK this past fall.

It claims that the council is infringing on basic human rights by asking non-Indigenous people to leave.

McComber feels he was left with no alternative but to battle what he sees as an unjust law in Canadian court.

“We just want there to be some point of peaceful resolution. My wife ain’t taking anything, she’s not from here, she can’t own anything. Land can’t get transferred to her even if I did pass away,” he said.
The lawsuit isn’t expected to be settled in court anytime soon.

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10 thoughts on “Mohawk man’s house targeted in Kahnawake because of non-Indigenous wife

  1. Is it marry Indigenous or fellow Haudenosaunee? From what has been reported, it seems that they must marry Haudenosaunee. Sounds great in theory, but long term issues on extended cousins possible marrying extended cousins… that is frowned up in traditional teachings. Looking seven generations into the future is more than locking up the borders to Haudenosaunee lands. Oh it should be added that inter-marriage and adoption have always been practiced. That seems to be forgotten.

  2. Just because a law was there before doesn’t make it correct. Genocide and slavery laws still exist, that doesn’t make them right. Those kinds of laws should have never been respected. Everything I’m seeing and hearing about this is a carbon copy of the KKK’s rationale and ignorant reasoning. How would these tribal people feel if they moved to a place like Ajax, USA and were protested against because they don’t want a native person around the white blood? Racial superiority complex is harmful in any community. I’m first Nations and my children and I are from three different tribes: OJibwe, Cree and Mayan. We have indigenous blood from at least 5 different countries. Most of the First Nations/Indigenous people around the world are fighting Against Segregation. This saddens me greatly, we should know better. “Our people will Never stand unless we become concerned with the rights and civil liberties of All people, and Not just for ourselves.” – Chief Seattle.

  3. Your identity is that of your MOTHER if your mother is Native then so are you. It is her blood running through your body she created your body therefore you are that of her!
    I come from A long line of Cree women and because of the STUPID natives laws of the FATHER BS My family lost lands statuses for fighting for Canada because our Cree women were made to marry HBC (scottishmen) and etc. And yet Natives think its prefectly ok for a Native man to breed with non-native but not ok for native women who had been forced to?

    First of all that family has three children already so in all fairness where the FK does anyone get off saying years later they have to leave?

    Marry native or get out FK OFF your promoting INBREEDING? on reserves. THATS AGAINST MORAL LAWS AND LEGAL LAWS OF THE LAND!

    as long as you have a female native descendant bloodline it should not matter!

    The children are the last of his line because their mother is NON-native therefore those children are required to marry NATIVE or get out.

    That family stays! Stop being so dumb the more people leave the reserve the faster the government gonna take it from you!

  4. Slippery slope arguments are exactly that. I understand what others think but I am clearly the minority in opinion. Chasing away an entire family because this wife and mother is Caucasian is disgraceful. 80 percent of this family is native and want to raise their children amongst our amazing people and culture. It is clear the she cannot and will not take account for any of our native benefits. Our elders would shame us and they should. We are Native American but more importantly we are human. Recall how our ancestors were treated? Racism is not ever acceptable, on territory or not.

  5. exclude – stay outside of the rest of the world. ya….not wise at all.

  6. we need to defend our rights as natives to stay native, cause one day if we all have non Natives women to marry there goes our true identies just what the government hopes for is marry white so we will deplete all the Natives, Yeah Right, were here and and were not going anywheres.

    1. If you’re not from Kahnawake then I’m sorry but you don’t know what you’re talking about..
      This law was put into place because there were too many non-natives living here and owning land/taking up homes that native people could be in.
      Now, we’ve made sure through new laws that non-natives cannot own land or homes in Kahnawake, so I don’t see why there’s much of an issue anymore. Our rights and our land are secure, non-natives living here with their partners (and creating more native children) will not sabotage that.
      Now maybe you should also look at using our rights to education and learn how to spell properly…

  7. I’m half T’Salagi Cherokee from my mother, and German from my father and I agree 100% with the tribal council and the members. If the law has been there, then it should be followed and respected. It is there for a reason and a justified reason at that. Think about it, if one non native is allowed, then another, then another and more then you no longer have a tribal community- you have diluted reminding of what was, like we have here in the US.

    1. The law was created because there were so many non-natives who were buying up all the land here (some didn’t even live here at the time Since then new laws were created so that non-natives could not own land, homes or businesses within Kahnawake. Therefore, this should be a non-issue as these non-native people living with their partners will have to leave once they pass away. They cannot then own the land or family home.
      Also, this is 2015 and we’re not in damn Germany trying to become the perfect race. Stop the ghetto mindset and embrace everyone. Their children are native and have every right to be here yet are suffering due to this.
      Some arrogant, ignorant people who probably did not finish school and are not contributing to their community in any way. Half the people I see who are “pro-eviction” have been on welfare since they turned 18 and drink all week

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