MNN.  19 FEB 2011.  The Kaianerekowa is the Great Law of Peace.  It is not a religion.  It is a philosophy of freedom meant for all.  Over 100 million Indigenous people in the Western Hemisphere were killed in the biggest holocaust in all humanity.  The Mohawks always peacefully resisted Canada and US colonialism and international bank directed dictatorship because we remember the genocide.

According to our birthright we can never relinquish our lands and resources.  We never have.

In the past when the colonial entities murdered our chiefs, the people took over.  The power is in the people.  The leader is the spirit within the people.

In 1990 our burial grounds and ceremonial site at Kanehsatake were going to become part of the Oka Golf Course in Quebec without our knowledge or consent.  Two Mohawk communities, Kahnawake and Akwesasne, stood up immediately to support the resistance of our brothers and sisters.

Early on the morning of July 11th 1990 Quebec sent in a para military SWAT team.  They opened fire on the men, women and children who were camping and peacefully protesting.

A 78-day siege began.  In August 5,000 Canadian soldiers surrounded three of our Mohawk communities, with tanks, snipers, lethal weaponry and top generals.  They had orders to massacre us if we fired one shot.

The world watched in horror as a few of us stood nose to nose with the military forces.  We women stopped shots from being fired by anyone.  Supporters stood ready to defend us.

International pressure forced the military to pull back. On September 26th we came out to go home.  The soldiers and cops beat us up.  One child was bayoneted in the chest.  We were arrested and charged.  In the end three of our men served sentences.

Afterwards we were hunted down like criminals.  We were called “terrorists” and insurgents for defending ourselves.  The Canadian government bombarded us with pacification brainwashing programs to help us get over or forget their brutality.

Historically we Mohawks never cooperated with the corporations and bankers who invaded us.  We constantly point out the illegitimacy of their existence on our land that wants to steal our birthright.

Like us, the Wisconsin protesters who are being fleeced by the government, want to keep what they have.  The government wants to bust the unions because they are a non-government alternative source of the peoples’ power.

A public increasingly unemployed, broke and homeless is told to obey while trillions are spent on the military complex, wars, no fly lists, spying, neighbors reporting them, scanning everything or being falsely charged with treason for uttering the truth.

Our Indigenous communities are, in effect, concentration camps.  They are controlled and protected by foreign colonists and entities through their highly paid band and tribal councils.  We, the landowners, are the poorest of the poor.  We never resisted for money.

Tyrants are foolish to rule by fear.  There comes a time when uncompromising anger dissolves fear.  These disposable dictators and their puppets will all be gone.

Tyranny is being challenged everywhere.  The dictators using mercenaries to protect them and enforce their will further weakens the decaying empire.  Their high tech death squads guard them and brutalize their people for money, not loyalty.

Our philosophy instructs us to fight until we win.  When the black belt falls and hits the ground, we must begin the resistance.  We cannot stop until we win or we can’t fight any longer because we are all dead.  We have stood up to overwhelming odds and held them off many times.

Our struggle empowered us.  We exposed the truth, stood defiantly and maintained independence.  We never relinquished anything above and below the ground.

There were risks.  We protected our people under the guidance of the Great Law of Peace.

We never gave the dictators what they craved:  obedience, cooperation and submission.  We cannot because submission to anyone violates the Great Law.  We are equal and have a voice.

In the end the thugs couldn’t overcome our lack of fear.

The Arabs lived under the gun and are now removing their terrorists.  They know that no one will free you but yourself.  No one can tell the Arab tribes they cannot help each other.

Awareness brought down their tyrants.  Here on Turtle Island, the people don’t see the gun yet.  Tyrants know we have a right to freedom.

Watch out!  Indigenous consciousness is transcending military might.


 1990 MOHAWK CRISIS ON YouTubeMNN. Apr. 30, 2009. At dawn on July 11, 1990, the SQ [Quebec Provincial Police] opened fire with automatic guns and threw tear gas on Kanion’ke:haka Mohawk men, women and children of Kanehsatake. One policeman was killed by friendly police fire. We had been protesting the nearby town of Oka’s plans to expand a golf course over our burial ground and common ceremonial site called THE PINES. Nearby Mohawks of Kahnawake quickly responded to fellow Mohawks by blocking the Mercier Bridge, which connects the south shore with the island of Montreal over the St. Lawrence River.

The RCMP and then thousands of Canadian Army with heavy armaments were sent in. The world watched in amazement as a small Indigenous nation faced the combined fire power of these three forces for 78 days.

It was a fight for Mohawk identity and territory against the oppressive designs of the colonial occupants of our land. We found ourselves in the middle of a struggle for identity, respect and resistance to oppression by Canada and Quebec.

Fifty-two men, women, children and 10 journalists held out in the Treatment Center that we called Concentration Camp TC. We were surrounded by razor wire manned by heavily armed soldiers, guns and tanks. We were without communication with the outside world, little food was coming in and the weather was getting cold. The army was stepping up its psychological warfare tactics. The colonists wanted to end the Mohawk Crisis that had plagued the summer of 1990. They wanted us to surrender. No way!

On September 26th 1990, the Ahserakowa gave us a coded message in Mohawk over the Kanehsatake Radio Station. He warned us to immediately vacate Concentration Camp TC because “something was coming down that night”.

We broke into clans – bear, wolf and turtle – to make our final plans. Some felt we should stay until Monday when Parliament would start its fall session. The gravest political confrontation in modern Canadian history could then be debated.

At 5:00 pm our clans convened. We had all decided to leave in an hour. As two army helicopters hovered above us, everybody went into a flurry of preparations. Everything was thrown into a huge bonfire. A final purification ritual was performed before the sacred fire that had never stopped burning throughout the crisis. We said our good-byes to each other. We did not know what was going to happen when we would walk head-on into the Army.

Thousands of people and media had rushed to Kanehsatake. The whole finale was being televised live.

We tried to walk out of Concentration Camp TC to freedom. We crossed over the stretchers that had been placed over the razor wire. Immediately soldiers and cops grabbed us and began to kick, punch and beat us with their fists, guns and stabbed one child with a bayonet. In the end we were all captured.

The colonists maintained their false position that the Indigenous defenders were criminals and terrorists who threatened the public security of all. The colonists quickly brought us to trial on criminal charges. We were all acquitted except for Lasagna who was found guilty of breaking into a non-native home in Kanehsatake. We had transcended the colonial boundaries set up by Quebec, Canada and the U.S. under a European nation-state model on our territory.

Next year it will be 20 years since this attack. The 33 minute film – O Kanada: Behind the lines in Oka – is available on YouTube. It was made by Albert Nurenberg, a reporter who sneaked through the army lines with a camcorder and taped the event from inside:

OKANADA: Behind the lines in OKA

For the coming year MNN will publish other stories on this siege leading up to the 20th anniversary.

Kahentinetha MNN Mohawk Nation News

Note: At this time your financial help is urgently needed and appreciated. Please send your donations to PayPal at, or 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 “World” category for more stories on this; New MNN Books Available now! Purchase t-shirts, mugs and more at our CafePressStore; Mohawk Warriors Three $20 including postage.

poster: katenies



RON CROSS DIED 5 YEARS AGO – VETERAN OF 1990 MOHAWK CRISIS AT OKAMNN. Dec. 12, 2004. At 11:00 p.m. on Nov. 1st Lasagna Ron Cross, 41 years of age, died of heart failure. He was the Mohawk Warrior made famous during the Oka Crisis of 1990. He was seen daily on the media standing up to the Quebec Provincial Police and the Canadian Army in defense of Mohawk land and sovereignty. He left an imprint in everybody’s mind: a hero to some and a villain to others.

Canada and Quebec wanted to pacify his irrepressible spirit, his bravado. But he remained true to himself. His spirit was an example to others in their own struggles. Had he caved in, it would have discouraged others. Although he did not intend it, someone always stands out in such a crisis. He was it.

It was Wednesday, September 26, 1990. The siege had lasted 78 days. Lasagna was one of 52 men, women and children and 10 journalists who marched out of the Alcohol and Drug Treatment Centre at Oka Quebec. It was one of the gravest political confrontations in modern Canadian history.

The Army, the police and the media had targeted Lasagna. The Canadian soldiers were jealous of him. The police wanted his blood. Canada and Quebec wanted him to pay for the Mohawks upsetting them. For a moment he wanted to stay behind and “look after himself”, but the others talked him out of it. Together they walked out of the Centre to freedom, singing their Mohawk victory song. As soon as they crossed over the stretcher that had been placed on the razor wire, several soldiers grabbed Lasagna and began to kick, punch and beat him with their fists, army boots and guns. He was beaten several times by the SQ. Later he brought charges against four Quebec police. They had dressed up in army clothes. He won the case. Amnesty International condemned this beating worldwide. Many believe that this vicious beating caused so much internal injuries that it contributed to his early death.

Lasagna’s trial came up in St. Jerome Quebec in September 1991. It lasted almost a year. Joining him as defendants were two other warriors, Gordon ‘Noriega’ Lazore and Roger ‘20-20’ Lazore. The proceedings of the trial were published in a book “Mohawk Warriors Three” by Kahentinetha Horn. Also, he won a Supreme Court of Canada decision to have his trial in English rather than French.

It is a significant trial. The three warriors did not recognize the jurisdiction of the white man’s court and remained silent throughout. They said nothing from the beginning, throughout the trial and afterwards. They did not put in a defense. They allowed the jury to decide their fate.

In the end only Lasagna served a prison sentence. The only charge that stood was his involvement in the beating of Mohawk informant to the police, Francis Jacobs. He was released from prison two months prior to his death. At the construction site on the Champlain Bridge in Montreal, he felt ill and decided to sit in his car. His friends checked on him twice, the second time he was found dead. He is survived by his wife, Nadine, four sons and grandchildren. Since the 1990 crisis the following men who were in the compound with him have died: Thomas “the General” Paul, Leroy “Splinter” Gabriel, Todd Diabo, Joe “Stone Carver” David, and “Mad Jap”.

On November 3rd, 1999, Lasagna Ron Cross was laid to rest in the graveyard of Long House 207 at Kahnawake Mohawk Territory ( Quebec Canada ).

Kahentinetha Horn
MNN Mohawk Nation News

To read about the trial:
“Mohawk Warriors Three, the Trial of Lasagne, Noriega and 20-20” by Kahentinetha Horn
You can purchase this book for $20 from
MNN, #991, Kahnawake [Quebec, Canada] J0L 1B0; or through 
http://www.mohawknationnews.comon the PayPal account. MNN

poster: katenies