Orginal Publication Date
Ethnic Studies Review
On March 10, 1990, Mohawks at Kanehsatake, located in Quebec, Canada, staged an armed demonstration that lasted seventy-eight days to protest the expansion of the Oka Golf Club onto lands that the Mohawk claimed, which included their ancestral burial grounds. One Canadian officer was killed, and many on both sides were injured during the protest. The entire Mohawk-Oka conflict lasted 200 days (March 10-September 26) and finally ended when the Canadian federal government, on behalf of the Mohawks, purchased the contested land from the town of Oka. Linda Pertusati, Assistant Professor of Ethnic Studies at Bowling Green State University, offers an overview of this ethnopolitical conflict and relates it to the nearly 400 year struggle of the Mohawk Nation to retain its political and economic sovereignty. She convincingly argues that Mohawk resistance was an indigenous reaction to colonialism.