1990: When Mohawks took up arms to halt development on a burial ground
A Mohawk warrior stands triumphantly atop an overturned police vehicle after an effort to remove the Mohawk barricades failed.
Image: Tom Hanson/AP
In the summer of 1990, long-simmering tensions among the First Nations of Canada reached a flash point around the Kanesatake Mohawk reservation 30 miles west of Montreal.
The reservation was surrounded by the town of Oka, which was preparing to build a members-only golf course and luxury condo development on a pine grove and cemetery where many Mohawk families’ ancestors were buried. The Mohawk had been contesting the Canadian claim to these sacred lands for centuries, but the courts rejected their attempts. Read more…