KANESATAKE, QC, July 21 /CNW Telbec/ - The Mohawk Council of Kanesatake deplores the recent news about Norfolk's development project on Mohawk traditional lands. "These lands are ours and we will protect them against any infringement", affirms the Grand Chief Sohenrise Paul Nicholas.
The lands where Norfolk plans to build residential properties are situated in the heart of the seigneury of Lake of Two-Mountains, right in front of the pine area that sparked the 1990 events. "Now, isn't it what you call provocation?" asked the Grand Chief.
The seigneury of Lake of Two-Mountains was conceded by the King of France in 1721 to the Sulpicians for the exclusive use of the Mohawks. It is also a part of the seigneury known as 'the Small Common' which was historically used commonly by the Mohawk people for pasture, burial and other activities. In 1759, during conquest, the British crown reaffirmed Mohawk rights to this land both for exclusive use and hunting activities through the Treaty of Oswegatchie. And again, in 1763, the Royal Proclamation reaffirmed these lands for use and benefit by the Mohawks.
In spite of this, the Sulpicians and the governments gradually sold most of the land to private interests. These sales were illegal and constitute a serious breach of the Crown's fiduciary obligations, a breach that is now officially partly acknowledged by the federal government. "I trust Mr Caron, the new appointed federal negotiator, will take immediate actions to prevent confrontations over the lands for which we will soon engage negotiations", adds Grand Chief Nicholas.
The Mohawk Council of Kanesatake has decided to remain optimistic and is confident that the provincial and the federal governments, as well as the municipality of Oka, will take the right decision to deal with that issue in the most evident way: to facilitate the return of land ownership to the Mohawks of Kanestake. "We have solutions and we call for the governments to sit with us at a negotiation table, so we can resolve this issue once and for all", concluded Grand Chief Nicholas.
SOURCE MOHAWK COUNCIL OF KANESATAKE
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