Mohawk Council of Kanesatake

Mohawk Council of Kanesatake

February 01, 2007 15:05 ET

The RCMP and SQ must also account for their actions

KANESATAKE, QC, Feb. 1- Stockwell Day, Canada's Minister of
Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, announced yesterday that he would be
ordering a forensic audit of the January 2004 police operation. Mr. Day said
he had sufficient information in his possession to justify such an audit.
However, the Mohawk Council of Kanesatake is convinced that the Minister has
nothing other than a biased, incomplete report and that he had no other
alternative but to do what he should have done from the outset: order a
thorough, independent study. Had he done so, the federal Public Safety
Department would not have had to pay for a report that did not deliver on its
promises.

The Chiefs of the Mohawk Council of Kanesatake also point out that the
Minister did not inform them of the conclusions of the report by Samson et
Associés. These conclusions must be partial, to say the least, especially
since the main person concerned in the entire matter, former Grand Chief James
Gabriel, was not even questioned. It is no surprise that Mr. Day himself is
the object of a lawsuit for defamation by Mr. Gabriel.

The Council is more convinced than ever that the period covered by this
audit must not be limited solely to the events of January 2004 and after. This
would be a colossal mistake. The leniency of the Mohawk police force and the
Band Council, headed in 2001 by current Grand Chief Steven Bonspille, has
culminated in the 2004 joint KMP, SQ, RCMP police operation.

We also want to take this opportunity to remind Mr. Day that we still do
not have a proper police force on our territory, even if the cost of
"policing" is reported to be more than $34 million to date. We therefore
believe it would be fair to all police forces, not only the Kanesatake Mohawk
Police and aboriginal officers in other communities, for the auditors to ask
the RCMP and the Sûreté du Québec to account for their actions.

"Independent investigators" will have the full cooperation of the Chiefs
of the Mohawk Council of Kanesatake. However, we hope that this forensic audit
will not curb the desire of the federal and Quebec governments to restore a
credible native police force in Kanesatake. Our people must have the same
public safety services as all other Canadians.

The Chiefs of the Mohawk Council of Kanesatake

Contact Information

  • Mohawk Council of Kanesatake
    Chief Clarence Simon; Chief Marie Chéné
    450-479-8373