Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights 2020

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Canada's Military Invasion in Northwest Territories


by Kahentinetha Horn
Mohawk Nation News

April 14, 2007. Indigenous people everywhere - watch out! Is this more of Canada's "might is right" mentality. Or have the military, police, RCMP, secret service and government bureaucrats become "guns for hire" by the multinational corporations? Are they all under the same corruption that is going on in the RCMP?

Canadian armed forces plan to ignore indigenous sovereignty by invading Deh Cho territory. The crime is planned for Monday April 16th. It's at Norman Wells and Ft. Simpson, Northwest Territory.

"Operation Narwhal" is being conducted despite the expressed opposition to this operation and to the McKenzie Valley Pipeline that Canada wants to build through their land. The Deh Cho never agreed to become part of Canada though they are willing to work with Canada. They want the colonial power to implement their "Land Use Plan", in keeping with their rights as interpreted by the Supreme Court of canada and under international law. Canada rejected the Plan. The Deh Cho insist the pipeline cannot cross their land without their approval.

The Deh Cho want to stop the environmental destruction by corporations and their government and military puppets that are bent on removing all "restraints" to "business". This pipeline is part of a massive exploitation of land across all of Turtle Island [North America]. The "slash" and "pollute" mentality will affect everyrone living on it as well as the environment worldwide.

Let's not kid ourselves, this is really an end-run around the Dene opposition. The Canadian govenrment press release says that 40 Joint Task Force North military personnel will take over the airport from April 16-27 from imaginary "terrorists" as part of "a sovereignty operation for the military". Another 240 troops will be stationed at Norman Wells. They claim these two places are "possible terrorist sites" because of their location on the pipeline route.

Despite leaving the Deh Cho out of the loop, "Imperial Oil" and "Enbridge Gas", two of Canada's largest energy companies, are in the thick of the action. More than 200 soldiers will mass to practice their response to their fantasized terrorist attack. Lt.-Col. Kevin "TNT" Tyler of the Yellowknife-based JTF North said there will be a fictional "al Qaeda" sleeper cell from Edmonton. "This is supposed to be a small cell of two terrorists who have explosire devices to disrupt the flow of oil.

Are they hitchhiking up there? Is there a road? Why are the troops in the middle of a town? Why not in the middle of nowhere? Is it because the troops need to be close to a bar?

After the attack at Norman Wells the RCMP will call in the military for help to protect Imperial Oil fields west of Great Bear Lake along the MacKenzie River. It is served by the 870-kilometer Enbridge pipeline designed to carry up to 30,000 barrels of oil a day.

The operation will bring in 150 reservists from the Maritimes. Aurora surveillance aircraft, Griffon helicopters and Twin Otter airplanes based in Yellowknife will bring in 140 staff and air crew. The RCMP, Emergency Preparedness, Imperial Oil and Enbridge areall part of the gang. Of course, it will all be under U.S. command.

These video maniacs are all looking forward to having a lot of fun. It sounds like a big party at the expense of the Dene, the Canadian taxpayers, the people and the environment.

The military was never known for its intelligence. Soldiers will be armed, without live ammunition. Does this make sense? In a real life situation will a gun be of any help? Are they going to shoot the bomb? Hope they bring enough 'duct tape' for the holes they're bound to make in the pipeline.

Sgt. Larry "Obey" O'Brien in Yellow knife said RCMP officers that are not in Ottawa testifying about ocrruption will be consulting with military officials.

This is simulated warfare to simulate their "phony baloney" sovereignty on our land. But the assault on our land is real. Three years ago the military had an exercise in the waters off Pangnirtung, an Indigenous nunavut community on southeast Baffin island. They pretended that a "foreign" country was trying to retrieve a satellite that had fallen into Davis Strait. The question is why do they have to fight over that? Everyone knows that the U.S. is the main bully falsely claiming our Arctic waters.

Recently Canada claimed sovereignty up there by taking a shipload of Inuit, the real owners, on a cruise through Arctic waters. In their heart of hearts, they know they are in Inuit space.

The Deh Cho won't give the invading troops a warm welcome, like moccasins for their frozen feet. It's just one colony telling another how to click its heels. The Deh Cho are not intimidated by foreign troops being sent in using imaginary "terrorism" as an excuse to hoist their flag on our land.

The Deh Cho think their plans for oil are completely insane! This follows on the heels of the recent military training manual flap where they referred to Indigenous people as "insurgents".

The Deh Cho are asking for support. Canada is conducting an illegal invasion. The title holders have not been consulted nor gave their consent. Are Canadian forces planning to stay until Canada breaks down Deh Cho opposition to their pipeline, or until it finishes building it to take gas to the U.S.? It's the same trampling over our rights as ever before. Can somebody help get a court injunction?

FAX 867-695-2038 or

Send your concerns to: Prime Minister Stephen Harper; Governor General of Canada; Indian Affairs Canada; Queen Elizabeth(?); NATO; United Nations; Environment Canada (?) ; & anybody you can think of.

Kahentinetha Horn - MNN Mohawk Nation News &
for updates, workshops, speakers, to sign up, go to
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Natives decry 'provocative' military exercises
By Kevin Libin
National Post
Friday, April 13, 2007
Calgary • When troops descend on Fort Simpson in the Northwest Territories on Monday, they will pretend an attack is afoot in Canada’s Arctic. But the Deh Cho First Nations, who claim sovereignty over the area, is calling the department of defence’s mock exercise a genuine incursion on their territory. And Grand Chief Herb Norwegian is accusing Ottawa of using Operation Narwhal as a provocative show of force."Here they are right out of Afghanistan, right into the Deh Cho. This is pretty serious stuff," Mr. Norwegian said yesterday. "We seem to be gearing up for some psychological warfare."Though Mr. Norwegian said he has not yet determined his response to the perceived violation, he said, "I think we need to remind people that here they are coming into a territory where they're not welcome … if push comes to shove we have a right to defend ourselves."For 12 days, Canadian Forces, the RCMP and two energy firms will test Canada’s response to a terrorist attack on its northern energy infrastructure. The scenario will see two soldiers posing as agents from an Edmonton-based "al-Qaeda type" sleeper cell stage a mock bombing of oil facilities at Norman Wells, NWT.Military personnel will respond with patrols in Norman Wells and Fort Simpson while surveillance aircraft and Griffon helicopters take to the skies over the region.Operation Narwhal, which has been planned since 2004, involves nearly 300 military personnel, RCMP and representatives from Imperial Oil and Enbridge Inc. But Mr. Norwegian said Ottawa did not consult with natives. "I only heard about it yesterday," he said. "Normally, with these kinds of things you have to consult and bring people onside."Captain Bonnie Golbeck, public affairs officer with Canada Command, said yesterday that organizers met with Deh Cho leaders in Fort Simpson months ago. "Our planning staff met with the community leadership to make sure they understand the scope of the exercise and what was required so we could be open and allow any concerns to be raised on either side." She was "not aware of any concerns" raised by the Deh Cho about the operation.Relations between the federal government and the community of 10 First Nations have strained over a lingering land claim dispute. The 7,000-member band is the sole holdout in negotiating a land-use framework for the proposed Mackenzie Valley pipeline, which will deliver Arctic natural gas south to Alberta.Though Ottawa and the energy industry have struck arrangements with all other affected northern bands to allow passage of the $16-billion natural gas corridor — 40% of which will pass through lands claimed by the Deh Cho — the band has made cooperation contingent on land settlement, including controversial demands for powers to tax pipeline property.Indian Affairs minister Jim Prentice has suggested that lacking a deal with all Indian groups, the government may nevertheless proceed with pipeline construction on disputed lands, leading some observers to wonder if Ottawa might face confrontation with the militant Deh Cho."When you look at the way that this [Operation Narwhal] is being put together, its almost subliminal messages that are being sent to us," said Mr. Norwegian. Ottawa should have staged the exercise somewhere where locals are more "pleasant" toward the federal government, he added.Gurston Dacks, a University of Alberta political science professor, said that sensitivities make Fort Simpson an "unfortunate choice" to train troops. But, he added, "you’d really have to be into conspiracy theories to prefer the explanation that this is some kind of implicit threat."

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