Remembering Oka: Canadian forces vs. Mohawks over a golf course and a burial ground

Via:  kavika  •  4 months ago  •  25 comments

Remembering Oka: Canadian forces vs. Mohawks over a golf course and a burial ground

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T

The Oka crisis was a militarized dispute between the Mohawk people of Kahnawake and the Canadian government over a planned golf course that was to be built over a Mohawk burial ground

Twenty-nine years ago on July 11, 1990, Canadian officials in Oka, Quebec, authorized the expansion of a private golf course which would have been built on top of a Mohawk burial ground. The Mohawk people of Kahnawake immediately opposed the effort and barricaded bridges leading in and out of the territory.

The initial barricades of bridges in the are by the Mohawk people initiated a militarized response by the Canadian government. The efforts of both the Mohawk Nations and the Canadian government’s forces resulted in a 78-day standoff that resulted in two fatalities and international news coverage.

Thousands of Native people from across the United States and Canada watcher that coverage and traveled to Oka. Many were turned away from entering the community of Kahnawake. Similar standoffs and close communications took place in the nearby Mohawk communities of Kanehsatake and Akwesasne.


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1  seeder  Kavika     4 months ago

Nanaakon, aabijianzo.

2  1stwarrior    4 months ago

When I was working with the Canadian Defence Forces and the Canadian Rangers, my co-ordinator was Major David Scandrett.  Major Scandrett was the military officer who got between the two groups and brought "peace", through mediation, to prevent any further escalation.

As a result of his actions, David was given orders to set up the 3rd Canadian Rangers organization.

They were officially created in Ontario on November 3, 1993 when Major (Ret’d) David Scandrett, who was then a captain, became the first commanding officer of what is now the 3rd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group (3 CRPG).

“I had a piece of paper delivered to me in my office at CFB Borden. It was a copy of a message from the commander of the Canadian Army in Ontario, authorizing me to set up Canadian Rangers – Ontario, which was the title at the time,” said Maj (ret) Scandrett.

Twenty five years later, there are 570 highly trained Canadian Rangers in 25 First Nations across the Far North of Ontario, with two more communities to be added early in 2019. Almost half the Rangers in Ontario are women. Across the Canadian North, there are 5,000 Rangers in more than 200 remote and isolated communities.

“Originally, the Rangers were lone wolves,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Matthew Richardson, 3 CRPG’s commanding officer. “They were the army’s eyes and ears in the North. For that purpose, they did not require much in the way of training or equipment. That’s very different than the Rangers of today. They are now members of a highly trained team, a family, an indispensable community organization, with a proud record of service to the peoples of their First Nations. They wear their red hoodies and uniforms with pride and with public recognition of what they do in the North.”

In the last 25 years, the Rangers of 3 CRPG have conducted search and rescue operations in some of the most potentially dangerous terrains in Canada. Their service has been recognized with national decorations, medals, awards and commendations

The Rangers also operate the Junior Canadian Rangers, a program for youth aged 12 to 18. There are more than 1,000 Junior Rangers in Northern Ontario. Camp Loon, an annual camp held north of Geraldton, provides advanced leadership training for about 150 selected Junior Rangers every summer.

There is a video that I have yet to find, showing Major Scandrett placing some tanks between the two groups - a very tense and intense situation.

2.1  seeder  Kavika   replied to  1stwarrior @2    4 months ago

The First Nations people in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) have served

Canada with distinction and courage since the earliest days. Their traditional

way of life—especially the scouting, hunting, and shooting skills that they

learn in the wilderness—equip them to become skilled soldiers.

   During the GreatWar of 1914–1918, Sergeant Francis Pegahmagabow, MM,

an Ojibway infantry soldier from Ontario, served as an expert sniper and scout.

He became Canada’s most highly decorated First Nations soldier and, for his

bravery, he earned the Military Medal with two bars.

   After World War II, during the 1950s and ’60s, the James Bay Rangers

formed in communities along James Bay. These satellite groups of the Canadian

Army patrolled the radar stations and surrounding areas in Northern Ontario.

They reported anything unusual to the Canadian Army.

  Today, the 3rd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group (3 CRPG) in Ontario

maintains this tradition of military service. This group, a specialized reserve

component of the CAF, conducts search- and- rescue operations and keeps

communities safe in the most rugged areas of Northern Ontario.

  These Canadian Rangers are part- time reservists. They provide a military

presence that is respected, admired, and necessary. Their traditional aboriginal

knowledge, especially their survival skills, is an asset to our CAF. When large
scale military exercises are held in Northern Ontario, the Canadian Rangers

train regular and reserve soldiers.

  The 3 CRPG is one of five Canadian Ranger Patrol Groups in Canada. Each

group patrols a specified area set out by the CAF, and the Canadian Army, a

branch of the CAF, manages them. In the 3 CRPG, 98.4% of the members

come from First Nations.

  The members of the 3 CRPG also teach wilderness survival and military skills

to young people aged 12 to 18 in the Junior Canadian Rangers. The Canadian

Rangers provide exceptional  role models for these young people and other members of their communities.


Francis Pegahmagabow, MM


2.1.1  1stwarrior  replied to  Kavika @2.1    4 months ago

To me, one of the really sad things about the equipment issued is the rifle - the Enfield E-3.  Little outta date, ya think?  Accurate as hell though.

2.1.2  seeder  Kavika   replied to  1stwarrior @2.1.1    4 months ago
Accurate as hell though.

It sure is and a great rifle in cold weather. Also easy to repair.

It's my understanding that the Enfield has been replaced. 

2.1.3  Freefaller  replied to  Kavika @2.1.2    4 months ago
It's my understanding that the Enfield has been replaced. 

It has been replaced by the Tikka T3x Arctic

2.1.4  seeder  Kavika   replied to  Freefaller @2.1.3    4 months ago
It has been replaced by the Tikka T3x Arctic

Thanks Freefaller.

2.1.5  dave-2693993  replied to  1stwarrior @2.1.1    4 months ago
  Accurate as hell though.

Great trigger, great action, smooth as hell, jmho terrible terrible rear aperture. I can understand the application, man size target at fair to mid ranges. Fine. Bring it down to .050" range, free float the barrel from the action forward and got a good rifle.

'03 Spribfield has the same problem with the sight for long range accuracy as really designed for the same application as the Enfield. So, to be expected.

The '91 and '98 Muasers going too far the other way with their rear dovetail sights.

Don't get me started on the M14, it will take paragraphs, but it is a damn good rifle once set up correctly.

2.1.6  1stwarrior  replied to  dave-2693993 @2.1.5    4 months ago

Earned my Gold with the M-14 from Armscorp - luv'd that rifle.

2.1.7  dave-2693993  replied to  1stwarrior @2.1.6    4 months ago

They are fine rifles but not up to long range accuracy off the shelf and the M22s and M25s were really just band aids.

I had 3 of them. One for 600m one for 800m and a 1000m rifle, by contract to meet my specs. Pushing that 7.62 NATO round needed specific tuning for those ranges as those distances pushed the capabilities of that combination. Of course, it needed different loads for each distance too. Then of course you had boat loads of bog stock standard issue stuff too for when needed. 

Always keep the iron sights. The optics might have a bad day.

2.1.8  1stwarrior  replied to  dave-2693993 @2.1.7    4 months ago

Had the .520 rear sight, fixed blade w/red tip, heavy duty, double lugged maple stock, 4 lb pull.  Best match score at 600m (100/200/300) was 483/500.  Fired a 198/200 at 1000m - 'course had clear skies, no breeze, 38% humidity.

Since it was my personal weapon, when I got out of the CG, got in local matches since the CG gave me 5000 7.62 rounds.  Donated the "Babe" to the Melbourne PD SWAT team two years after separation from CG.

2.1.9  dave-2693993  replied to  1stwarrior @2.1.8    4 months ago

Good shooting 1st.

I'll be wrapped up again for the next 4, 5, 6 days or so. Might be able to skim the front page here or there at night. Until then, maybe I can think of some good shooting stories.

Hope to see more timely and meaningful articles and comments from my 3 favorite posters (Kavika, Raven Wing and you...of course there are more, but we are on an Indian thread here).

2.1.10  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  1stwarrior @2.1.6    4 months ago

In the Navy I earned a Marksman rating with a jungleized version of the M-14. Had a carrying handle and a metal wire stock. One very tricky weapon to fire and aim. This was in Christchurch, New Zealand in the late 80's and our instructor was a Kiwi who was a former Flight Sergeant in the RMZAF and at that time was the only foreign national who was a genuine USN trained Navy rangemaster.

2.1.11  seeder  Kavika   replied to  Ed-NavDoc @2.1.10    4 months ago

Carried the Stevens 520/30 Trench Gun in Nam....Perfect weapon.

2.1.12  1stwarrior  replied to  Ed-NavDoc @2.1.10    4 months ago

Wow - the M-14 was "taken" from us in '67 and replaced with that pathetic M15/16 that couldn't hit a barn, overheated, and jammed frequently.

2.1.13  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  1stwarrior @2.1.12    4 months ago

That version that I fired also had a shortened barrel as well. Colin, our Kiwi range master told me that if I had been firing a standard M-14 I probably would have qualified expert. Like I said, a very tricky piece to fire,

Raven Wing
3  Raven Wing    4 months ago

I do remember that stand-off. There was a great deal of media attention given to it, and sentiment and support was high among many other Tribes here in America. Showing such disrespect of Native burial grounds would be as disrespectful as wanting to build gold clubs on top of regular or even military cemeteries.

The all mighty dollar still takes precedence over Native American burial sites and sacred lands here in America to pump oil or dig mines. If the dollar is that important, and respect for the dead is not that important, them let the government subject ALL cemeteries to the same consideration. Why should Native American sites be held in any less respect?

Perrie Halpern R.A.
3.1  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Raven Wing @3    4 months ago

I remember it, too. I thought it was gross that something that should such a no brainer like respecting a burial ground over a golf course would be something that anyone could get behind.. but apparently not when you are an Indian. 

Why should Native American sites be held in any less respect?

Got me?

Raven Wing
3.1.1  Raven Wing  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @3.1    4 months ago

Since Native Americans were pivotal in the new comers survival in the new land, teaching them how to how to live in their new environment, and helping them build their homes and plant their crops, what the new comers ultimately did to the Native Americans is like spiting in their oh such moral and loving God's face. 

It seems nothing much has changed since those times. And yet the new comer society likes to spit in the face of the face of those who first reached out the hand of friendship, only to have the new comers and their descendants chop it off and them spit in their face.

They will one day learn that Karma is a Bi*ch.

Buzz of the Orient
4  Buzz of the Orient    4 months ago

Perhaps this article should be read in tandem with the current one - it does provide more detailed information about the Oka crisis.

4.1  1stwarrior  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @4    4 months ago

I knew I had seen that one before - thanks Buzz.

4.2  dave-2693993  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @4    4 months ago

Good link Buzz. Thanks.

5  seeder  Kavika     4 months ago


6  seeder  Kavika     4 months ago

The iconic photo shown above, (Canadian solider and warrior). The warrior's name is Brad Larocque  an Ojibwa from Saskatchewan . Many warriors from different tribes joined the Mohawk in their defense of their land. The Ojibwe were there in large numbers. 

6.1  dave-2693993  replied to  Kavika @6    4 months ago

Iconic is right.


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