A group of South Shore mayors are reeling after the Parti Québécois government announced its decision Friday to give back 300 hectares of land to the Kahnawake Mohawks.

The farmland was appropriated in 2006 during construction of the Highway 30 project and will be ceded back to the First Nation in the near future. It lies along the border of Kahnawake, Châteauguay, St-Constant, Ste-Isidore and Ste-Catherine.

But the mayors claim they were never consulted throughout the process, which led them dumbfounded by Friday’s announcement.

“Right now, (the PQ) has been talking and negotiating with Kahnawake and telling us on one occasion they pass by and say: ‘Listen, we started to discuss about it with Kahnawake, and we’ll come back and you’ll be part of the process,’ but that never happened,” Châteauguay Mayor Nathalie Simon told CTV Montreal.

Mohawk band council spokesperson Joe Delaronde said he doesn’t understand the source of controversy.

“This has been in the works for years now, where’s the surprise,” he told The Gazette. “I guess that’s how it goes sometimes.”

Delaronde would not comment further on the matter until it is brought before the band council Monday. Reports of negotiations over the 300 hectares were widely publicized in The Gazette and other media as early as July 2012.

Simon told CTV Montreal she believes the land that will be handed over to the Mohawks belongs to her municipality. Calling the 300 hectares “our territory,” the statement elicited some reaction over Twitter and other social media — with observers noting the irony of a non-aboriginal politician complaining about losing land to an aboriginal reserve.

This may be the first time since Confederation that land has been given back to the Kahnawake Mohawks. The First Nation is in the preliminary stages of filing a 40,000 acre land claim with the federal government that dates back to the 17th century.

Photo Credit: JCM

Responses to "Quebec to give land back to Mohawks"

  1. Anonymous says:

    it's a good start and great news, but the first nations in U.S. will have a hard time with our screwed up society. Personally I think all the white people should leave and go back to wherever they came from. I'm Cherokee and yes we have some land of our own, but for me the trail of tears, of all the genocide to north American after the white people stole all the land can never be forgiven or forgotten. Congratulations you guys!!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    This, kids, is what we like to call Karma :D oh what's that Mayor Simon? You find it unfair when the land you consider to be yours it taken away without any regard to your feelings or opinions? Well fancy that...

  3. Anonymous says:

    YES! This is a good 'beginning'.

  4. Unknown says:

    I can't help where I come from, from where my blood comes, where my ancestors originated. But I know where my heart and soul have always belonged, even from when I was a young child. It breaks me to know the suffering and loss my ancestors have bestowed upon those who lived in this land before them, the ones who truly respect and love this land, all of the Earth's beings, and the Creator. When I go to powwows I feel at home in heart, but ashamed in my skin at the same time. I am so happy that the Mohawks are reclaiming what was theirs to begin with...and I pray forgiveness for that which I have had no control over but for which I carry great guilt and accountability.

  5. Anonymous says:

    the same goes for me and many others, for sure. IT IS TIME....

  6. In response to CJ Callahan, None of us can help were we came from , however we can make a difference we we go to in our futures, and what we can to help those we owe restitution to. I myself am a product of the invasion of European's I'm what Quebec once referred to as "Metis", I'm French and other European bloods, but I am also 5 different Algonquin Clans from Trois River Area in Quebec. I have always identified with being Native without Native tradition, However I took it upon myself in my early 20's to research my First Nation Ancestry, I have associated for past 20 yrs or more with Algonquin Peoples, Though some are from the same Clan or Clans that I am we see each other as relations, unlike some Europeans that refuse to believe who there ancestor's were so that they can feel good about not being mixed, that only belongs to Aboriginals Europeans often feel. If Europeans had realized that they originate from one continent , they maybe they could love each other, not conquer and divide. The suppression of First Nation's by Europeans has resulted in two things for First Nations, 1 Unity for survival and division for some because of rations. I have lived long enough to know that I have never been quite White enough, and finally now that I have documents of my 5 First Nation Clans I am being accepted by the Native Community but only by those that know me personally, and also by my real blood relatives that I have finally gone home to meet and great. It is a puzzle of my life that just had to be explored. And I'm glad I have come to know that not only was I Native American I was from 5 different Native Clans ,If I did not peruse this as a young woman , I would not have ever known who, I really was. And I think that the Canadian Gov. would be more willing to recognized me as a First Nation Person (Metis), they may give me what they took from my ancestors. In my quest to know my origins I have learned not only was I 5 Algonquin Clans, but the first of my ancestors ever recorded as Native, was a slave, that is not what one likes to learn, so I know that the American and Canadian Gov owe me and my kin, because there was no boarder line between Canada and North America until the Europeans divided the two. If we had done that to Europe, I don't think that Europeans would like it nor stand for it. You know the advantages that European's had over First Nation Peoples, and germ warfare was the first and the worst, it was an invisible enemy to my ancestors, and then there were the obvious suppression and enslavement. Imagine a slave in and on your OWN CONTINENT as a American citizen educated in European Schools, I know how degrading and disgusting that is. It may not be yours or any Europeans fault what your grandparents did, but your generation can begin to give back to those they stole from some of what can be redeemed. Just saying It's never too late to begin giving back as much as possible, as much is needed to those that survive their ancestors horrors. Not to mention that even in my generation the torture of First Nation Folks, Maybe you can share this with other's Like the Gospel, and pass it on to the four corner's of the earth and we can all be right with out Holy Creator. thanks for reading.dms

  7. Unknown says:

    Children should not be blamed for the actions of their parents. Nor shall our ancestors be the only reason we can live together.

    All are born on the land, therefore all shall live on the land.

    It's time for all tribes to work in unison, and strengthen their roots so we can lead the future. Crying about our lost ones will not bring them back, but we can do something about how many more must be lost to these useless wars, battles and prejudices.

    All people, lead back to a mother or father tribe, therefore everyone is part of a world tribe. Weather some choose to stand alone, or together, is for us to address when they say it so.

    Don't judge, war brings suffering to all sides.

  8. Kath has wise words. No-one on this planet can turn back time, it is how we move forward from this point - together - that matters. It is not just native americans who have been/are oppressed. The majority of people worldwide are enslaved or oppressed (and deluded)even to this day, by those with money power and religious/political power. Only when the majority of common people, of all races, unite with one voice against religious & political fanatics (and those with sickening amounts of money power) will we move forward.

  9. I agree - Kath does speak wisely. The same thoughts are in my heart as well, as far as; we need to not point blame so much anymore - those to blame are long dead. The only ones alive left that might be blamed are those who perpetuate the past badnesses, but they can always stop, and turn their hearts and ways right around in an instant. The *initial*, hugely unfortunate times/happenings have been done and cannot be undone.

    But we're all here now, as a result of whatever our ancestors did or didn't do. Our present selves cannot be held accountable for our ancestors unless we strive to perpetuate criminal behaviour/attitudes, and then, we can only be held accountable for that particular present nonsense. We all need to break that cycle. Whites hatin' on reds, and reds hatin' on whites - no matter who feels they are more entitled to hate, or whatever, as far as past ancestral misdeeds go. Present stuff can be a whole 'nother thing, but we can STOP present things.

    Past is past, and makes us what we are - or what we start with in making who we are - today. The resulting mixed bloods have (or have the unique opportunity to have) a uniquely keen insight on making peace, one blood with the other.

    Many are like myself - I'm a mutt (ahahaha) - I'm Blackfoot/Mohawk-Cree, with some Mi'Kmaq and Winnebago as well, from another branch of the family tree. Also, I have five other non-NA bloods in me, so ten things in all. Can't quite consider myself any one of them - I'm just a Human Being, and can only try to be a good one. Funny, there's something called "Vineland" - when the Norse vikings travelled so far north that they ended up coming down south through Canada and met up with us NAs way before Columbus... and so I have Norwegian blood in me too.

    But like Kath's words point out... We all are born from/upon the Earth Mother, and are watched over by the Sky Father. We need to see ourselves as a single tribe... or at least, many clans, many tribes, but one Earth Nation, yes? And Fist Nation Peoples - are Earthier people, generally. Don't get me wrong, ANY blood can be more natural a Human Being, as long as you draw close to such. Those who insist on dwelling artificially in concrete jungles and ignoring the Mother they walk on, well, that's their doin'. But Earth Mother's Natural People, whatever blood they spring forth from, are the best people to give land to. WE ARE STEWARDS OF THE EARTH MOTHER. We wont slice her up, won't rape her and make her hollow - we nurture and protect, we propagate Nature, we do not rearrange Nature around us to fit us, we fit into Nature as we should. DO NOT WORRY, MAYOR, WE WILL TAKE GOOD CARE OF OUR MOTHER.

    Hehe - I say "we", I say "our"... while I am presently in Nagoya Japan... :P lol

    But y'all know what I mean, bruthaz and sistaz ^_~

    Main point - any chunk of Earth could never be in greater, more caring hands then those of ours, we creatures of Earth - as opposed to creatures of the revenue machine.

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