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13 sentenced from Kanehsatake raid

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Issue: 33 Section: Canadian News Kanehsatake Topics: police, Indigenous

January 31, 2006

13 sentenced from Kanehsatake raid

by Gwalgen Geordie Dent

On Jan 20th, 13 Mohawks from Kanehsatake were sentenced to 3-15 months in prison for their part in resisting an attempted takeover of the Kanehsatake police force in 2004 by then Grand Chief James Gabriel. The takeover, linked to the Indian Affairs Department and the Solicitor General, involved almost $1,000,000 in government funds and 60 hired mercenairies.

Allegations over the past 2 years from anti-poverty and anti-colonial organizations, as well as former Quebec Public Security Minister Jaques Chagnon, have claimed that the raid was illegal and targeted against opponents of Gabriel in the Kanehsatake police commission. Gabriel has also been accused of secretly negotiating Bill S-24 targeting Mohawk tax exemptions and autonomy in 2000 and secretly signing a policing agreement with RCMP and Surété du Quebec (SQ) without band support in 2003 and misusing millions in band funds.

Although senior government officials have repeatedly claimed the raid was illegal and the RCMP and SQ stated publicly that they argued against it, Judge Nicole Duval-Hesler sentenced 13 Mohawks, in some cases with higher prison tenures than the prosecutor had asked for. Repeated demands for a new trial for the convicted, a judicial inquiry into the raid and a financial audit of band funds have not been met.

Geordie Dent

» CBC: Robert Gabriel sentenced to 12 months for Kanesatake riot

» Globe and Mail: Mohawks put police under siege

» Justin Podur: Mohawk Warriors face Canadian-style colonialism

» CTV: Outburst forces judge to halt Mohawk hearing

» OCAP: Kanehsatake news

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