New York Racial Profiling Case Involving Mohawk Indian and Marijuana


The opinion in People v. Deer is here (it’s from March). An excerpt:

The court believes that Officer Carrier decided to follow the white SUV and do a radio run because the driver appeared nervous. Her actions were completely consistent with a person who was not engaged in any criminal activity. There was no basis to believe that a vehicle with a NYS license plate and registration had crossed the border or was engaged in any way with smuggling persons or contraband across the border. He drove up behind the SUV, coming close enough on a dark night in a rural area to see her license. As he overtook her or followed her, she swerved, a not unexpected result of having someone come up quickly, not pass and start to follow you. The radio run advised him that the person who owned and registered the vehicle lived at an address on or near the Mohawk reservation and had a name that might be consistent with a person of Mohawk heritage. It could, of course, also be a husband’s name and not her own. The officer then drove into Gouverneur, not for the purpose of stopping the vehicle immediately, but to further observe it, according to his testimony. He placed himself in a position to see into the vehicle with street lights, parking lot lights and his headlights. He had the opportunity at that point to observe Corene Deer with her clearly Native American features. He then stopped the vehicle. He was handed the registration sticker which should have been on the windshield. He wrote his report without even mentioning it, clearly indicating to the court that it was in no way the basis for his stop. Although he testified about observing that the sticker was not on a windshield at a point in his narrative of events that might have led the court to believe he observed it prior to the stop, his testimony on cross examination made it clear that he did not observe it prior to the stop, nor was it the basis for the stop.

Mohawk Ironworkers Story in WNYC


At its peak in the late 1950s, there were 800 Mohawk ironworkers living in North Gowanus in a neighborhood nicknamed Little Kahnawake. They made up about 15 percent of ironworkers then. Today, they make up about 10 percent.

“Virtually every skyscraper … has been built by Mohawk and other Iroquois ironworkers including the new Time Warner building…Rockefeller Center, Empire State building, Chrysler, all these skyscrapers, virtually all the bridges,” said Robert Venables, a historian and former Director of Cornell University’s American Indian studies program.

via C.G.

500 Police Raid Quebec Mohawk Communities ~ Kanesatake ~ Oka ~ Akwesasne

Here’s the breaking story, as reported by CBC News. 

A major police operation is underway involving 500 police officers in the Mohawk community of Kanesatake, Que., located about 60 kilometres northwest of Montreal.

Both the RCMP and the Sûreté du Québec have officers on the ground, and the target is organized crime and drug trafficking.

Raids are also being done in Akwesasne and Oka, the municipality next to Kanesatake, although it’s unclear how many arrest warrants are being carried out.

Police are expected to release more details during a news conference at SQ headquarters in Oka.

The last major drug raids in Kanesatake were in May 2009, when 13 people were arrested on the Mohawk territory. That operation involving more than 300 police officers was the result of a year-long investigation launched after some Kanesatake residents complained to police.

Mohawks Protest Arming of Canadian Border Guards

From NewsPirates:

mowhawk-protestCanadian authorities shut down a border crossing into the United States at Cornwall, Ont., after Mohawk leaders from the nearby Akwesasne territory warned they would not tolerate guns in their community.
Talks on the weekend between Mohawk officials and the Canadian Border Services Agency broke down over the issue of arming guards assigned to posts on Cornwall Island, which is in the middle of Akwesasne, a territory that straddles Quebec, Ontario and New York State.
The border guards in Cornwall were set to start carrying 9-mm handguns, under a new federal policy enacted across the country. Instead, guards left their posts at midnight Sunday, citing safety concerns, after hundreds of Mohawks set up camp near the border to protest the gun policy.
Border authorities later closed the border altogether, allowing no vehicles to cross the Seaway International Bridge.
The Mohawk protesters are angry about guards being allowed to carry guns, because they say it violates their sovereignty, and increases the likelihood of violent confrontations.

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Frozen River Showing in East Lansing

The East Lansing Film Society presents:

Frozen River

Ray Eddy (brilliantly portrayed by Melissa Leo), a mother of two living in a trailer, is lured into the world of smuggling when she meets a Mohawk woman, Lila, who lives on a reservation that straddles the US-Canadian border. After Ray’s husband takes off with the down payment for their new doublewide, Ray hooks up with Lila to make runs across the frozen St.  Lawrence River carrying illegal immigrants in the trunk of Ray’s Dodge Spirit. Desperation knows no borders.

Nominated for two 2009 ACADEMY AWARDS, including BEST ACTRESS, Melissa Leo, and BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY


Wells Hall, MSU


Video Links to 4th Annual Haudenosaunee Conference

Links to the videos of the 4th Annual Haudenosaunee Conference, “Conflict, Colonization, and Co-Existence: The Haudenosaunee and New York State” are here.

Speakers included Oren Lyons, Maurice John, Laurence Hauptman, and Rob Porter.