April 13, 2010
Ahkwesasne - Last evening, in the final daylight hours, members of the Men's Council for the Kanienkehaka Kaianerehkowa Kanonhsesne were called to the scene of an incident where a couple of young Mohawk men were attacked on Mohawk waters. Upon the questioning of eye-witnesses and conversations with the victims, the following was determined: The act of aggression was committed by a group effort consisting of RCMP, the US Coast Guard and the US Border Patrol using the vessels under their control. It is presently unclear which agency actually rammed the small craft operated by the young men, but the RCMP and Coast Guard immediately fled the scene after the assault, leaving the Border Patrol to fish the injured men out of the river and see to their injuries. Both men are hospitalized with back injuries with one of them currently suffering paralysis. Neither has been charged but the damaged boat which lost its motor in the collision has been confiscated. The US Border Patrol denied committing the assault on the young men.
The Men's Council of the Kanienkehaka Kaianerehkowa Kanonhsesne condemn this act of aggression and demand that those responsible for this criminal act be held accountable. The parties involved in this action have no right to interfere with our use of our water ways and, in fact, have from time to time forced our people to use the river as our only means to access areas of our community.
The US and Canada use Our land to connect their people and commercial interests and then attempt to dictate to Our people on what terms we can access Our communities. The constant high level of tension between the Kanienkehaka and our oppressive neighbors has now been ratcheted up once more. This Council will consult with the People and take steps to aggressively confront this action and any future acts of violence against our people.