Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

March 1, 2009

MNN: 'We're Baaack!! Judicial Chicanery of Federal Court of Canada Side-Swiped'


Mohawk Nation News

Photo Kahentinetha Horn at Indigenous Peoples Border Summit II on Tohono O'odham Nation.
Photo Brenda Norrell

March 1, 200 9. On June 14, 2008, Kahentinetha and Katenies, two Mohawk women, were viciously attacked at the Cornwall Ontario border by a special squad of about twelve barking Canadian Border Services Agents CBSA dressed for combat. One woman was put into a torture stress situation meant to kill her. She suffered a trauma induced heart attack and is still recovering. The other was severely beaten and held incommunicado without access to medical attention or outside help. She is still recovering from her injuries.

Kahentinetha and Katenies live in the Mohawk communities of Akwesasne and Kahnawake. They think that everyone should be able to pass the illegal colonial border without being assaulted or killed.

No employee or official has shown any concern for the near fatal assault committed by the CBSA. They filed formal complaints for a full investigation, appropriate charges to be made against the offenders and reasonable compensation for their arrest, assault and illegal jailing. They sent requests to the Hon. Robert Nicholson, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, the Ontario Provincial Police, the RCMP, the Mohawk Akwesasne Police and the CBSA. They all refused to investigate.

The two women have no money and no lawyer. They had no choice but to represent themselves. They filed a Federal Court of Canada lawsuit to force the police and government agents to investigate this attempted murder. For $2 they filed a Statement of Claim on the ”Assault, arrest and illegal detention” by Canada Border Services Agents [Kahentinetha & Katenies v. Queen, Section 48, Federal Court Act, T-1309-08]. At first the court registry employees seemed helpful. As time went on they issued misinformation and lost documents to sabotage the lawsuit.

The crown’s first response was to file an unprecedented countersuit for Kahentinetha and Katenies to pay for Canada‘s costs. To start they wanted over $20,000 on deposit before the case could be tried, plus all subsequent costs thereafter. They justified this by claiming that Kahentinetha and Katenies are “not residents of Canada”. They based this deceptive false argument on an unsubstantiated article from a newspaper published on the internet that speculated that Katenies lived in the U.S. Kahentinetha and Katenies submitted evidence that they live in Akwesasne and Kahnawake which are located in the portion of the colony of Canada known as “Quebec”. They are considered residents of Canada by the Canadian government. The court refused to accept the evidence.

Kahentinetha and Katenies were pleased with FCC’s order that respects Indigenous jurisdiction over Turtle Island. According to Canada’s own order and laws, the demand for money is a human rights violation and Canada must remove its border control.

Prothonotary Mireille Tabib of FCC issued the order that the two women must put $6,500 before the case would proceed. Kahentinetha and Katenies appealed. They argued that Canada cannot claim that Kahnawake and Akwesasne are not part of Canada so as to classify them as “non-residents” to make them pay court costs, while they treat these communities as parts of Canada, including having a border control in the center. This was a very strong argument. So they stooped to skullduggery. They “lost” the appeal documents.

When the crown did not reply, Kahentinetha phoned the FCC registry. She was told the documents were lost. Then they suddenly found them. Kahentinetha and Katenies were instructed to re-file the appeal and to ask “for an extension of time”.

FCC Judge Francois Lemieux then issued an order denying them the extension of time. He made no ruling on the unconstitutional posting of money by victims of a crime carried out by agents of the state. His deflection made it impossible for the women to appeal. Such a cynical and willful obstruction of justice was unexpected.

Kahentinetha and Katenies, having no money, no jobs and no attachable assets, had to abandon the case. Then on February 26, 2009, Kahentinetha filed a brand new suit on the “Reckless disregard for the safety and security of Indigenous Women at the Canadian Border, Akwesasne” [FCC File No. T-288-09, Kahentinetha v. Queen]. Not forgotten is that men are also abused at the border.

Canada continues judicial chicanery with blindness to the rule of law. As a signatory to international human rights instruments, Canada’s Constitution Act, 1982, states everyone is equal before the law. People, no matter what part of the world they come from, cannot be beaten up by state agents with impunity.

Hardball bullying that Kahentinetha and Katenies got from the FCC shows that it is impossible for Indigenous to get our issues discussed rationally and resolved according to generally accept Canadian and international legal principles. Canadian and international opinion does not support this high handed and unethical behavior.

Kahentinetha is not a Canadian citizen and Kahnawake and Akwesasne are not part of Canada as recognized by Prothonotary Mireille Tabib’s order of 23 October, 2008 [FCC No. T-1309] and by Judge Francois Lemieux’s order of 29 January 2009 [ FCC No. T-1309-08].

The assault can be proven by both civilian and government of Canada witnesses, by medical and hospital records and by videotape evidence which is in the hands of the CBSA.

Kahentinetha and Katenies’ main purposes for their legal actions are to demand a full and fair investigation of: 1) the assault; 2) the failure to investigate; 3) the loss of documents and unethical treatment by the FCC; and 4) the action to be tried without delay in the FCC at 30 McGill Street, Montreal, Quebec.

Canada continues to use its courts as a political weapon to allow its agents to abuse us with impunity. This case cannot be swept under the carpet of judicial chicanery.

Ieriwaonni & MNN Staff Mohawk Nation News Note: Your financial help is needed and appreciated. Please send your donations by check or money order to “MNN Mohawk Nation News”, Box 991, Kahnawake [Quebec, Canada] J0L 1B0. Nia:wen thank you very much. Go to MNN “BORDER” category for more stories; New MNN Books Available now! Purchase t-shirts, mugs and more at our CafePressStore; Subscribe to MNN for breaking news updates; Sign Women Title Holders petition!
Cases FCC T-1309-08 and FCC T-288-09, Kahentinetha v. Queen.
POLITICAL, JUDICIAL & BUREAUCRATIC “DOUCE BAGS”: Hon. Robert “Contemptible-flunkey-who-protects state-criminals-and-other-agents-of-repression” Nicholson, Minister of Justice & Attorney General of Canada, Tel: 613-941-6900,, Hon. John “”Judicial-hit-man” Sims, Deputy Attorney-General of Canada, Dept. of Justice, 284 Wellington St. TSA-6032, Ottawa Ontario K1A0H8 Tel: 613-946-2774, 613-992-3452, 613-942-4238, L. Bisson, Manager, Ministerial Correspondence Unit; Charles Payette 613-952-3653, Anil Kamal 613-943-2302 Fax: 613-952-6006; Federal Court of Canada, 30 McGill St., Montreal Quebec H2Y 3Z7 Tel: 1-800-927-5499, 514-283-4820, Prothonotary Mireille “Twisted-judicial-storm-trooping-gate-keeper-with-a-history-of-unconscionable-chicanery-against-Ongwehone” Tabib, Judge Francois “Rubber-stamping-petti-fogging-cheater” Lemieux; Sgt. J.L. Pettit, RCMP Headquarters, 1200 Vanier Parkway, Ottawa K1A 0R2 Tel: 613-993-7267 Fax: 613-993-0260; Louise Steele, Ontario Provincial Police, 777 Memorial Avenue, Orillia Ontario L3V 7V3 Tel: 705-329- 6051;
COLONIAL DOUCHE BAG PUPPETS: Phil Fontaine of the AFN is a partner in CBSA’s Sustainable Development Strategy 2007-9; Chris Kealey, Canada Customs Excise, Immigration Taxation Board, CBSA Media Relations 613-991-5197; President CBSA 613-952-3200, 613-957-0612,; National Aboriginal Initiative CHRC 204-983-2189 1-866-772-4880; Canada Customs Port of Entry at Cornwall Island Ontario; Quebec Human Rights; Akwesasne Mohawk Police 613-575-2250 ex 2400; Mohawk Security at the border 613-932-5183, 613-575-2340; Lance Markel, District Director CBSA 613-930-3234, 613-991-1214; Brent Lefebvre, Investigator CBSA; Susan St. Clair, Canadian Human Rights Commission, 344 Slater, Ottawa 613-995-1151, 1-888-214-1090, 613-943-5188; CBSA National Spokesperson 613-957-6500; Quebec Media Relations CBSA 514-350-6130; Chief Mohawk Council Akwesasne 613-575-2250; Minister Stockwell Day, Ottawa 613-995-4432; Melissa Leclair Communications Pub. Safety 613-991-2863.

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