CANADIAN ATTACK ON MNN AT CORNWALL BORDER CROSSING
Elder Abuse? Yes!
Anti-Indigenous violence? Yes!
Anti Free Speech? Yes!
ATTEMPTED MURDER??? Maybe.
A consistent pattern of violence? Definitely.
Exclusive to MNN by Ieriwa’on:ni [“Her thoughts become the way”]
This report has been written in consultation with family members and with direct witnesses to the events described.
The rumours circulating on the internet are true. MNN has been forced to suspend its reporting and investigative work because of a vicious and unprovoked attack on some of its principal writers, investigators and managers. MNN’s website was also attacked and was reportedly down for three days.
MNN WOULD LIKE TO THANK EVERYONE WHO WANTS THE TRUTH.
On June 14, 2008 Sakowaiaks and Kahentinetha went to Akwesasne to pick up Katenies. Canadian border control officers brutally attacked Katenies and Kahentinetha, two Mohawk grandmothers. Both are part of the MNN network and known for their outspoken criticism of U.S. , Canadian and international power cartels. The Canadian-U.S. border runs through the middle of Akwesasne.
There are said to be 3 outstanding warrants against Katenies, one from September 2004, another dated December 18th 2006 and a third dated November 4, 2006 that was kept under wraps until January 18th, 2007. This mess began when Katenies was accused of “running the border”. At the time, she thought she had been waved through. Her daughter heard her name on the scanner. Katenies returned to the border a few minutes later to see what was up. She was arrested and charged. When the case got to court, Katenies had already filed a motion to dismiss on the grounds the court did not have jurisdiction and violated the Two Row Wampum Agreement that founds international relations with the Haudenosaunee.
Katenies is a staunch defender of Mohawk rights. The Canada-U.S. border continuously places her family in danger. Her daughter Teiohontateh lives a few minutes away on the portion claimed by Ontario . Katenies lives on the portion claimed by Quebec . They have to pass through the part claimed by the U.S. to visit each other.
One day in November 2005, Teiohontateh appears to have become a pawn in the Canadian border guards’ campaign to carry guns. The U.S. guards already carry guns. She was still in pajamas, returning home from driving her daughter to school when she was pulled over for “a random vehicle search”. Though she was obviously of child-bearing age she was forced to pass under x-ray machines. Because of this she had to abort the child she was carrying. She filed a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission. To date nothing has been done.
The Supreme Court of Canada has always dodged the question Katenies asked: How can Canada claim jurisdiction over the Onkwehonwe? Canada knows that it was founded in violation of international law. One party to a treaty cannot make laws for the other. One people cannot absorb another without their free and informed consent. None of the Onkwehonwe agreed to become part of Canada or the United States . None of the laws of these colonies can be legally applied to the Onowaregeh of Turtle Island . Katenies states, “I do not understand the nature and cause of their actions.”
It seems that Canadians do not want to admit that their state was founded on lies and deceit. Their ancestors bought stolen goods when they immigrated. They were the pawns of mercenaries and greedy crooks. They still are, but they don’t want to face it. They are not ready to sit down and settle these problems on a peaceful nation-to-nation basis with Indigenous people. They prefer to attack people like Katenies and her daughter individually.
Things seem to have gotten worse since the Supreme Court of Canada refused to recognize the integrity of the Mohawk Nation in Mitchell v. MNR.
Two weeks before she was to appear in court, Katenies filed a motion asking the court to prove how it got authority and stating that if they refused to answer in 30 days she would take it as an admission that it had no jurisdiction. She tried to make sure that she followed procedures correctly. She recalls that that when she went to court on September 18th 2004, a judge told her that if she didn’t believe the court had jurisdiction she did not have to come back. He said it was her choice.
After that, things were quiet for about a year. That’s when her daughter was attacked. While she was handling her daughter’s problems she was arrested again. She filed another motion questioning the court’s jurisdiction. Her motion was ignored and they tried to go straight to trial. When she tried to read the questions she raised into the record, they interrupted her with a lot of noise and closed the court down. Katenies left. Then they issued another warrant. Katenies was sent a letter asking her to turn herself in so she could spend several months in jail. She responded by filing a motion to dismiss. She continued to live her life normally, crossing the border frequently without interference.
On June 14th Katenies, Kahentinetha and Sakowaiaks went through the border and were told to wait under the canopy. They sat there peacefully for an hour surrounded by guards. Some Mohawk elders showed up to watch. Several other vehicles were searched and released. Only Indigenous people were stopped. Eventually a platoon of guards marched towards the car, all wearing leather gloves. Something was up. A chief later told them that the gloves were for protection from blood. It was a sign they planned an attack.
Katenies was dragged violently from the car by a gang of hefty young men. They knocked her down, pinned her to the ground, and forced their knees into her back. They handcuffed her and smashed and rubbed her face into the pavement. Sakowaiaks still remembers the sound of flesh hitting the pavement.
The violence against her did not stop with the cuts and bruises administered at the time of her arrest. She was imprisoned and held incommunicado. They would not let her mother see her or talk to her. She had heard her daughter was injured. She asked several times and was refused. Katenies asked to see her mother. The guards said she didn’t ask for her. She was strip searched in a very vulgar and indecent way.
There were no warrants or charges out for Kahentinetha. Her ID had already been taken. Neither hers nor Katenies’ have been returned. Also missing are documents that were in the trunk and the shoes taken from her feet.
It was only after the assault on Katenies began that Kahentinetha was ordered to get out of the car. She saw with her own eyes what they were planning to do to her. Kahntinetha had been beaten by police in the past. This was the third serious attempt on her life. She has been told that she was targeted by the Canadian army during the 1990 Mohawk Oka Crisis. In 1995, on her way to the grocery store, she was pulled over by the Quebec Police [Constables Dube and Ouellette]. She was beaten so bad she was hospitalized. The court later found the cops guilty. They appealed and were found guilty again. On June 14th she was afraid her life would be in danger again if she got out of the car. She was right.
She was handcuffed and imprisoned. Once in the cell, the attack continued. Some of the officers deliberately tighten the handcuffs several times. This cut the circulation to her hands. They ignored her cries as pain shot up her arms. Flashes of light went off in her head and sharp pains shot into her chest. They yelled racial taunts and threats at her and kept ordering her to bend down. A man stood behind her and had his hands on her pants. What for? Frank Horn, a Cornwall lawyer, and his son Kanatase, happened to be waiting at the border. [613-935-8882] They wouldn’t let him see Kahentinetha until they took off the cuffs and gave her a chair to sit on. When he saw her, he immediately insisted on calling an ambulance. The Akwesasne Police looked so shocked that they stood there frozen in stunned silence.
The medical record confirms that despite excellent physical condition Kahentinetha had a trauma induced heart attack.
Her recovery will take several months. Part of her heart was killed. Her health will never be the same. Both women are now recuperating in the company of their children and grandchildren. Legal action is planned.
WHAT IS CANADA UP TO? WHERE ARE THE HONEST OFFICIALS IN THE CANADIAN GOVERNMENT? There are several reasons to be alarmed by this outrageous violence.
The Canadian state seems to think it is O.K. to continue to abuse Indigenous people so long as it apologizes later! This attack took place just a couple of days after Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s apology for the abuses that took place at the residential schools. These were designed to commit genocide and to eradicate all Indigenous cultures.
There has been a lot of discussion in Canada recently about both elder abuse and the excessive use of police force. These two grandmothers were assaulted by a troop of muscular young men wearing Canadian government uniforms, directed by an officer on a cell phone. The procedure appears to have been planned. It came close to achieving the same results as the much maligned tasers.
Neither of these women is associated with any kind of criminal activity. They appear to have been targeted for their opinions.
This is part of an established pattern of colonial behavior. In the mid 1800’s when British settlers were colonizing British Columbia , Governor Douglas instructed ships to fire their canon outside Indigenous villages to scare them and stop their protests against invasion and resource theft. (See Cole Harris, Making Native Space: Colonialism, Resistance, and Reserves in British Columbia UBC Press, 2002.p.22)
The people of Akwesasne have always objected to the imposition of foreign boundaries through their community. The Mohawks never agreed to join either Canada or the United States . Their ancestors have occupied the same territory since time immemorial. That particular community has been there since the 1740’s or 1750’s long before anyone dreamed there would be a “ Canada ” or a “ United States ”
Katenies and Kahentinetha are not the only people who have been harassed. There are problems with both U.S. and Canadian officials. Young people especially have been targeted. Babies and very young children are often left outside or unattended in cars for long periods of time. People have been sent on wild goose chases trying to find family members imprisoned because of border problems. Katenies’ was taken to Ottawa and her mother was not permitted to see her or speak to her until she appeared in court two days later. Apparently hundreds of complaints have been filed but harassment continues.
The corporate media failed to report this attack. This suggests that violence against Indigenous elders is not news.
It’s still open season on “Indians”, just like it was when the Spaniards stumbled ashore in 1492. Just like it was when Benjamin Franklin reported on the unprovoked massacre of the last survivors in New England . Just like it was at Wounded Knee . Jut like it was in the residential schools. Just like it was at Oka-Kanehsatake, Just like it was when Betty Osbourne walked along the road near The Pas. Just like it was when over 500 more women went missing. Just like it was when the Saskatoon police nabbed native youth on the street and took them to die of exposure on their “Starlight tours”. Just like it was when the Mayor of Brantford was told he could call in the Canadian army to intimidate people at Six Nations who object to illegal development on their land. The beating of elders by border guards is part of an established pattern of bullying.
People objected to the Nazis. Why don’t they object to this? Why are these customs officers targeting women?
According to international law, all differences MUST be solved by PEACEFUL DISCUSSION. EVERYONE IS EQUAL. EVERYONE HAS A VOICE.
These principles are all part of the Great Law of Peace of the Haudenosaunee People. The League of Nations was founded on the same principles. So was the United Nations.
Most people are alarmed by the current rise in corporate, military and government corruption and violence. Fascism has hijacked Canada , the U.S. and the U.N. The diversion of tax payer’s money to fund armies and weapons has to stop.
We must all defend all our rights, including the right to PHYSICAL INTEGRITY, FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION and the right of all nations not to be absorbed by large states without the FREE AND INFORMED CONSENT of the majority of the population.
BEWARE all readers! Especially if you are Indigenous. Especially if you are Mohawk. Who’s next?
Canada’s spin-doctors are already working overtime to defame Indigenous people and all honest people who want a free and peaceful world. They are doing this to scare Canadians. They’ re doing this to scare us all. They want to trick us into believing that their violence against Mohawk elders is justified.
Akwesasne is a small community. The people have to cross the border many times a day. The badge numbers of the men who committed the assaults are known. Canadian government officials will probably try to blame what they are doing on these low-ranking foot-soldiers. Whoever was hiding behind the cell phone will probably get off scott free even though Kahntinetha heard him say “Take her out”. The attacks on Katenies and Kahentinetha, the continuous attacks on Indigenous youths and elders will not stop the fight to defend Indigenous rights.WAKE UP EVERYONE!
This state-sanctioned violence has to stop!!! Those who sit silently and allow bullying to continue are part of the problem. This is not the kind of world any of us want to leave to our children and grandchildren.
Ieriwa’on:ni firstname.lastname@example.org Posted by MNN Mohawk Nation News