MNN. Nov. 17, 2008. On Friday night November 15, 2008 around 8 p.m., an elderly couple, both 77, was returning from a trip to Montreal. They had to go through the Akwesasne Cornwall Island border checkpoint, a few minutes away from their home in Massena, New York. After crossing the bridge from Cornwall, they approached the intersection of International and Island roads just before the Canada Customs building, before heading to the U.S. Customs. Meanwhile the Akwesasne Mohawk Police were chasing a 21 year old non-native youth in a minivan on the Island. The youth from St. Jean sur Richelieu, Quebec, sped through the stop sign at the intersection and smashed into the car of the elders. All three were killed in the crash and resulting fire.

Island Road passes through a residential part of Akwesasne known as “Kawehnoke”. It has no lights, no sidewalks, and the posted speed limit is 40 km/h.

The cops set up this lethal event with their usual disregard for the right of Indigenous peoples to live in peace and quiet. Their internal investigations will probably show that the cops and border guards were following “standard procedure” when they created this deadly catastrophe.

The youth was flagged as a “cigarette smuggler” by the Canada Border Services Agency CBSA and undercover intelligence that were in the community in unmarked cars and just standing around. He crossed the bridge over to Cornwall. There, RCMP and OPP were waiting for him. The youth saw them, turned around and headed back over the bridge to Kawehnoke, chased by the OPP and the RCMP. They called off their chase and told the Akwesasne Mohawk Police to take over, according to Ron Moran, President of the Customs & Excise Union.

The Mohawk police claimed they had called off the chase. Witnesses said the cop car lights were still flashing when they came down the hill in pursuit; after the mortal impact, the police ran to the van going after cigarettes; and they made no attempt to rescue the elders. A witness tried to open their car door. It was jammed. The car was already on fire and then became engulfed in flames.

The border agents and cops at this checkpoint are well-known for their lack of judgment, their brutality and their cavalier approach to the law. They have been violently attacking the Mohawks who have to go through this checkpoint on a daily basis. They use the “Akwesasne Residents’ Lane” that is supposed to make movement easier for residents as target practice. On June 14 2008 CBSA attempted to murder two grandmothers they had pulled over. One suffered a trauma induced heart attack. The two women tried to get the RCMP and OPP to investigate the attempted murders. Both agencies said they had no jurisdiction. It was the responsibility of the Akwesasne Mohawk Police, who have done nothing.

All these agents, CBSA, OPP, RCMP and Akwesasne Mohawk police, “without jurisdiction”, are fighting their gang wars in Akwesasne! We have documentary proof that all of these agencies claim they have no jurisdiction here. In fact, Madam Mireille Tabib of the Federal Court of Canada has recognized that Akwesasne is not part of Canada [Kahentinetha & Katenies v. The Queen, T-1309-08, October 23, 2008].

Guess who’s investigating this one? The OPP and the RCMP! Though they have no jurisdiction, they think they can perpetrate crimes! It looks like the families of these three victims could launch a big lawsuit against this IBET posse [Integrated Border Enforcement TaskForce]. Maybe Homeland Security should get involved as the elders are U.S. citizens. Sgt. Kristine Rae told the Ottawa citizen that the Akwesasne Mohawk Police Service asked the OPP to investigate the collision.

The Special Investigations Unit SIU, an Ontario civilian law enforcement agency, usually investigates any incident involving police that results in serious injury or death. The Akwesasne Mohawk Territory is out of the SIU’s jurisdiction. The almost death and serious injury of the two women caused by the CBSA doesn’t count! They only investigate the death and injury of non-Ongwehonwe by their agents!!! It’s called racism!

Policing is supposed to be a service requested by the people to take care of issues within the community. These four colonial mob agencies have brought their violent conflicts to our community without our consent because they think it’s a “no man’s land” for the colonizers and they can get away with it. The truth is that it’s the Haudenosaunee peoples’ jurisdiction. These mobs serve “outside racketeers” and extortionists who try to impose non-Ongwehonwe mayhem. They are “tax” extortionists with guns who rob on behalf of the colonial state. Some surmise that they may have been trying to rob the youth, grab his load and sell it themselves. Then they put these kids through their court system.

Everyone knows that cigarettes are legal. We are free to trade as we always have been since time immemorial. Neither the youth or the 77-year old couple deserved to die. What did the “border squatters” who have set up their illegal shop in the middle of our community want? To extort a share of our legitimate commerce! The colonial society has deliberately debilitated us so that we have no economy. It’s no coincidence that Canada created a situation that killed old people. It’s a culture that disrespects elders. It claims us as citizens but it has taken the Old Age pensions from our elders here.

We Mohawks feel deeply saddened by the tragedy that took place in our midst. We are outraged by the remorseless gangsterism of the colonial thugs that caused it. These hoods knew this poor young guy was not a native. They set him up because he was alone and unprotected. He died because of a failed economy and having no prospects in his own society. Poor people buy the cigarettes because they can’t afford the state taxes used to support their parasitic government officials. There is hardly anything left over for proper education or health care for their people.

These thugs should leave Akwesasne. They are now using twisted logic to try to blame us for their gangland style “hit”. They claim it all happened because we didn’t support them! What a bunch of sickos! The only involvement of our people were the witnesses who tried to save the lives of the victims. People were out and about. The Mohawk Police officers showed no common sense when they conducted this lethal high speed chase through the middle of our community.

Anger and frustration about the accident and the chase is simmering across Akwesasne and beyond. If Canada wants to call trade in our cigarettes contraband, that’s their business. It doesn’t make it so. We think their gang wars are to get a piece of the action, as they see it. We don’t want any part of them. We want them to get their fake border, goons and dangerous behavior out of our community. If they want to do s–t like this, let them do it in their own bedroom community. We’ve had enough.

All these people were killed over a load of cigarettes. Their creed is commercial greed before human life! The blame for this tragedy can only be laid at the feet of all these criminal entities, CBSA, OPP, RCMP and the Akwesasne Mohawk Police Service.

Karakwine & MNN Staff – Mohawk Nation News

Note: These challenges of CBSA abuses at the border require support and money. Your financial help is 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.

Some of the ‘borderline’ culprits involved: Prothonotary Mireille Tabib, 284 Wellington TSA-6032, Ottawa ON Canada K1A 0H8 613-992-4238 Fax 613-952-3653; 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; Gaetan Cousineau, 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 Lafave, 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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poster: katenies