Kanehsatake: 270 Years Of Resistance

CJ Trowbridge


Power and Politics in American Indian History

Kanehsatake: 270 Years Of Resistance

In the documentary “Kanehsatake: 270 Years Of Resistance”, we learned that over a long period, the municipality of Oka stole swathes of land from the Mohawk tribe for a golf course, including a grave yard. Peaceful protests were met with violent attacks by the municipality’s militarized swat team. The city’s militarized forces tried using illegal chemical weapons against the protestors but the wind carried the smoke back towards the police. Other tribes joined the fight, blocking all the highways. After the tribe turned back the first wave, they used heavy equipment to pile up the police vehicles and block the roads.

The number of police who came for the second wave was more than half the population of the Oka municipality that was trying to steal the land. White people burned racist effigies

In the end, the native people succeeded in stopping the golf course. Almost all the people were acquitted. The cost to the public was over $150 million. Further research shows this crisis was the beginning of a major series of widespread changes to give more power and representation to first nations communities in Canada. America needs a moment like this.

Just today, according to an article by Richard Wolf I found on USA Today (pun intended), the supreme court affirmed the old treaty boundaries for at least some Native American tribes in the US. This is great news! Also just a few days ago a federal judge killed the pipelines we’ve been reading so much about, according to an article I found by Fortin in the New York Times! There has been a lot of great news in recent days for native people in America, and seeing this video today gives me hope that we may be at a turning point just like the Oka Uprising. Hopefully native people will see widespread changes in the coming days and a brighter future finally opening up to them.


Works Cited

Fortin, Jacey, and Lisa Friedman. “Dakota Access Pipeline to Shut Down Pending Review, Federal Judge Rules.” The New York Times, 6 July 2020, www.nytimes.com/2020/07/06/us/dakota-access-pipeline.html.

“Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance.” , directed by Alanis Obomsawin. , produced by Wolf Koenig, Alanis Obomsawin, and National Film Board of Canada. Studio D. , National Film Board of Canada, 2015. Alexander Street, https://video-alexanderstreet-com.jpllnet.sfsu.edu/watch/kanehsatake-270-years-of-resistance.

Ouellette, Jean (guest); Medina, Ann (interviewer); Maitland, Alan (host) (11 July 1991). Oka: A year later (Audio clip). The CBC Digital Archives. Retrieved 2008-06-24.

Wolf, Richard, and Kevin Johnson. “Supreme Court Gives Native Americans Jurisdiction over Eastern Half of Oklahoma.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 9 July 2020, www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2020/07/09/supreme-court-allows-native-american-jurisdiction-half-oklahoma/3208778001/.