The Oka Crisis By: Gina

1. 1989- The Oka golf course discloses the development of the golf course and will begin construction in a few weeks. This is an important event that leads to the Oka Crisis being started because the construction would violate the land that belongs to the Mohawks, which is what the reason why the crisis broke out to begin with.

2. 1989- The mayor of Oka, Jean Ouellette, approved the expansion of a golf course onto Mohawk land. This expansion would create 60 high-end condos and add 9 more holes to the golf course. Townspeople who were against the expansion were ignored when they brought their matters to the mayor. This is an important event in tracing this issue back to its root cause because it shows an issue that has been occurring all throughout history, which is when Indigenous people get their land wrongly taken from them.

3. 1989- Mohawks decided to set up barricades that would lead to the expansion site. The mayor demanded that the barricades be taken down, but they refused. The mayor had sent out police officers in an attempt to dismantle the barricades and to move the Mohawks.

4. 1990- On July 9th, the police became violent towards the protesters by using tear gas and flash bang grenades. As things elevated, gunfire broke out and Corporal Marcel Lemay was killed. Police officers fell back as things become more escalated. This event is important because this made more people realize how serious the Oka Crisis was becoming.

5. 1990- The police set up road blocks that led into the reservation, Kanesatake. This led to the Mohawks setting up their own blockade on Mercier Bridge, which separated the Island of Montreal from the suburbs. It also creates large traffic jams that isolate Montreal residents from the Mohawks.

6. 1990- The Quebec police are unable to control the situation so Ottawa sends the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) to attempt to do so. On August 14th, the RCMP were unable to control the situation which resulted in 10 members to be injured.

7. 1990- On August 8th, the Premier of Quebec, Robert Bourassa, had asked the Federal military for support. Prime Minister Mulroney did not send troops in but kept them on alert. However, on August 20th, the Royal 22nd Regime had be sent in to replace the police officers at 3 blockades. They were able to get within 5 meters of the protesters without shots being fired. This is an important event because the Royal 22nd Regime had been peaceful with the protesters. This could show that maybe if someone had listened to their concerns that the Oka Crisis maybe wouldn't had happened.

8. 1990- Protesters become under great pressure by military officials and came to an agreement to end the blockade on the Mercier bridge. Mohawks continued to protest until September 26th when they surrendered to the military.

9. In the years to come, millions of dollars was spent by the federal government to buy pieces of land to rightfully give to the Mohawks. This is one of the most important events that the Oka Crisis had created because it addresses a problem that Indigenous people have faced all throughout history. Indigenous people's land has been wrongfully taken from them. One of the factors that led to the government buying land to give back to them is the Oka Crisis.

I think that the level of success in addressing the root causes of the social injustice and inequity of the issue that was the Oka Crisis was good. One criteria from the criterion for success is having the target audience identified. It is clearly identified by those who took place in the protests because they also made it clear what they were protesting. Their target audience were the people who could give them what they wanted were those in charge of the project, like the mayor who had ignored them. Since they protested, they also made everyone and anyone around them apart of their audience while progressing them along the Change Continuum. An example of this is how other bands from all across Canada began to join in on the protests when they had learned about what was going on. People from all over the country become more education on the issue. This is also multi-level support as it is coming from all over the place. This also shows how powerful the message that those apart of the crisis had if it was able to reach many other people from all across the country. The way that this social action had handled the issue shows the root causes incredibly well. The Oka Crisis represents a greater issue which is how Indigenous people have had their land stolen from them all throughout history.

Created By
Gina Chapleau-Johnson

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