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Mohawk Grandmother Challenges Border Jurisdiction

July 14, 2008

Mohawk Grandmother Challenges Border Jurisdiction

Court Ignores Mohawk Jurisdiction Challege from Leichik on Vimeo.

On June 14th, 2008 two Akwesasne grandmothers were stopped and arrested at the U.S.-Canada border. Located between Ontario, Quebec, and New York State, the Mohawk Territory of Akwesasne is torn between borders.

Katenies, one of the grandmothers, was arrested for an outstanding warrant from supposedly "running the border" in 2003 where she challenged that the imposed borders do not apply to the indigenous peoples of the land. Since, she has maintained her position and served a Motion to Dismiss in January 2007.

Kahentinehta, 68, was also arrested. During her arrest she suffered a heart attack and was taken to hospital. Her brother and nephew, crossing the border at the same time, intervened on her behalf. No charges have been brought forward against her, and today she is healing at her home.

On July 14th, allies gathered from Ottawa, Montreal, and Cornwall to show their support for Katenies' court appearance before Justice of the Peace Linda Leblanc. This video documents the events of the day with short interviews.

By Lia Tarachansky and Jesse Freeston, Ottawa IndyMedia Journalists

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My concerns intensify

My concerns intensify with every passing injustice being carried out here in Canada. From indigenous rights to our basic human rights, we all face a collaboration of bureaucracies controlled by a host of political appointees who appear to be clinically delirious in their pursuit of wealth and power.

I applaud the dilligent efforts of Katenies and others, if only to put their challenge in writing for the record of our courts. Beyond that, the excercise serves no practical purpose, and even then, records have been destroyed, before. For example -- http://british-columbia.ca.human-rights.org/eisbrenner.htm

The fundamental element of any democratic society, rests in the hands of the administration of justice, constantly being seen to be applied, honourably, regardless of religeous, ethnic, national, or gender beliefs. This is to great a responsiblilty to be shouldered by just one, or even three or five individuals, never mind they're all annointed to their esteemed positions through politically appointment.

Democracy begins with the administration of justice, carried out by selecting juries from our vast pool of citizen resources, particularily our elders who possess the ecclectic wisdom, temperance and deeper understanding, acquired through their cumulative years of experiences. Most importantly, juries reduce the risk of a broadening histor-ical pattern of partisan outcomes, growing more and more predictable by the patterns of tactics used in the obstruction and suppression of all those who pursue genuine justice and the protection of our rights, "equally, before and under the law" -- whether red, white, black, or blue, Mennonite, Muslim, Mandarin, man, woman, or child. Did I miss anyone?

Yours very truly,

David Thomson