OPP end Tyendinaga blockade


TYENDINAGA – Saturday morning the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) rushed demonstrators within Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory boundaries. Because the OPP does not have jurisdiction on First Nations territories it had many residents scratching their heads wondering how the OPP were able to arrest Shawn Brant, Marc Baille, Matthew Doreen and John Fox.

John Fox had visited the demonstrating Mohawks to thank the men for creating awareness about missing and murdered Indigenous women. Fox’s daughter’s death was written off as a suicide but Fox knows better.

According to Jana Hill, Tyendinaga resident, the OPP grabbed Fox as he began burning tobacco. According to one bystander, “the OPP tried to grab some more people. Then they pushed back again. Then we just kind of had a little standoff. We told them we ain’t leavin’ until they let go of John Fox… he was a hurting father and he was there to show us support…we told them (OPP) we weren’t backing off the tracks until they let John Fox go, they released him and we kept our word and left the tracks.”

Myles Green, Mohawk Warrior, had spent every waking hour he wasn’t working at the front lines showing his support. He wondered how the OPP could “just do their job” rather than the right thing instead of “standing against a thing that was so important. If you have daughters, a wife, a mother; how can you do that? How can you stand against something like that? I look at [it] this way, all the Native women, I don’t want them to be scared to walk the streets. I don’t want them to be scared knowing they are an easy target because nobody is going to get caught.”

The same night a social was held at Shawn Brant’s building. Everyone was in good spirits, visiting with friends and family. It had been a rough week for many families but you would never know it by the singing and dancing. When asked, “What’s next?” Steve Chartrand had this to say, “The CN Rail blockage was a response to what the OPP and the federal government said, that they would not call an inquiry for the murdered and missing Aboriginal women.” What happens next will depend entirely on what the community decides.

Another anonymous source added, “ we did what we set out to do, we may not have gotten our National Inquiry, and that’s too bad, but we let people know we are not standing still anymore, like Idle No More, we are no longer asleep, our land and our women are no longer for the taking.”

Dawn Lyn Blake originally from Six Nations of the Grand River, currently works on Tsuu T’ina Reservation in Calgary, Alberta. Prior to her tribal posting she worked for 12 years with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (Mounties) and she had this to say, “I am trying to educate the girls and boys on Tsuu T’ina about human trafficking in Canada. A lot of the Aboriginal kids are recruited by like friends and get involved in gangs, next thing you know they are prostitutes and found dead.”

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