30th Anniversary of the Oka Crisis

Statement

OTTAWA, ONTARIO (July 11, 2020) – The Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, Carolyn Bennett; the Minister of Indigenous Services, Marc Miller; and the Minister of Northern Affairs, Daniel Vandal, issued the following statement today in commemoration of the tragic events that occurred in Kanesatake in 1990:

"Thirty years ago, on this day, an armed standoff began in Kanesatà:ke and resulted in the deployment of the Canadian Armed Forces to Kanesatà:ke and Kahnawà:ke.

This conflict was rooted in a centuries old land dispute and fueled by racism.

A Kanien'kehá:ka WWll veteran, elder Joe Armstrong, and Corporal Marcel Lemay lost their lives.

The 78-day confrontation that took place throughout the summer of 1990 became a symbol for the plight of Indigenous Peoples across Canada and has left a lasting mark on our history. For many Indigenous People, the pain and trauma continue to this day.

Today, we must acknowledge that progress in our relationship has been unequal, halting, and often, far too slow.

We must learn from the mistakes of the past, including those made 30 years ago.

We must resolve to never order the deployment of the Canadian Armed Forces against Indigenous Peoples, as we remain deeply committed to dialogue and peaceful resolution of conflict.

We must remain determined in confronting the harm done in the decades in which there was a  lack of recognition of Indigenous rights, and underfunding of services. Governments and all Canadians must come together to address the racism that remains from colonization.

Thirty years later, we are more convinced than ever that sustained, open, and honest dialogue is the only way to renew relationships and support the self-determination of Indigenous Peoples."

For access to this Statement in Mohawk language, contact us at RCAANC.Media.CIRNAC@canada.ca

Contacts

For more information, media may contact:

Gillian Hanson
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations
819-997-0002

Media Relations
Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada
819-934-2302
RCAANC.media.CIRNAC@canada.ca

Vanessa Adams
Senior Communications Advisor and Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Indigenous Services
343-543-7645

Media Relations
Indigenous Services Canada
819-953-1160
SAC.media.ISC@canada.ca

Allison St.Jean
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Daniel Vandal
Minister of Northern Affairs
819-953-1153

Media Relations
Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada
819-934-2302
RCAANC.media.CIRNAC@canada.ca

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