KAHNAWAKE, QC, Oct. 26, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ - The Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke (MCK) was disheartened to learn about a series of Opinion articles that recently appeared in La Presse entitled, "TERRITOIRE MOHAWK NON CÉDÉ?". The articles question the historic presence of Mohawks on the Island of Montreal and the City' position, recently recognizing the Island of Montreal as unceded Mohawk Territory. The MCK has responded with a letter to the editor from Grand Chief Joseph Tokwiro Norton, which will be made available in the Montreal Gazette on Friday, October 27, 2017.
In the letter to the editor of La Presse, Grand Chief Norton stated, "To shed light on this issue, the newspaper chose to highlight the positions of four non-Indigenous historians. La Presse did not think to contact the Mohawk Nation, to call upon Mohawk and Indigenous oral history experts or to include a critical perspective to shed light on the other side of a debate that has significant consequences that go beyond the realm of academia."
"For several decades, the historic presence of the Mohawk Nation in the Saint Lawrence Valley has been under concerted attack in Quebec academic circles, led notably by supporters of the Saint Lawrence Iroquois theory, including historians Denys Delage and Alain Beaulieu that have championed this theory. This version of history arose from non-Indigenous academic circles, and is, in essence, a contemporary version of the terra nullius ("no man's land") doctrine that was used to justify the appropriation of Indigenous lands by European powers," the letter goes on to say.
"These articles portray a history that allows the Quebec population to dissociate themselves from the responsibility of the dispossession of our territory and counters any advancement in reconciliation between our nations. In light of recent acts of reconciliation by Mayor Denis Coderre of Montreal and Member of Parliament for Montreal Marc Miller, these types of articles are counterproductive, have detrimental effects on our path forward and taint our history among the Quebec population," said the Grand Chief.
To read the letter in its entirety and view the articles for reference, visit www.kahnawake.com/answersback.
SOURCE Mohawk Council of Kahnawake
For further information: Media Inquiries: Gene Diabo, Communications Officer, Operations, (450) 632-7500 ext. 63254, [email protected]; Technical Contact: Winona Polson-Lahache, Chief Political Advisor; Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke, Kahnawà:ke Mohawk Territory, P.O. Box 720, J0L 1B0, Tel: (450) 632-7500, Fax: (450) 638-5958; As per the MCK Communications Protocol, all media requests must be arranged through the Public Relations / Communications Unit