August 31, 2008

Mohawks file lawsuit: MNN Newsflash


MNN. Aug. 30, 2008. Canada keeps trying to pretend it’s “open season” on the Kanionkehaka/Mohawk. It’s even okay to assault our elders and grandmothers. No steps have been taken to charge the Canada Border Services Agents CBSA who assaulted Katenies and Kahentinetha on June 14th 2008. Kahentinetha suffered a trauma induced heart attack. They tried to beat Katenies to a pulp. They act like this is “business as usual”. The prosecutors have not done their duty. Because of this there has been no public investigation and the crime has been swept under the carpet.

The two women have no money, but they have found a way that might make rogue crown agents accountable. They have filed an action in Canada ’s Federal Court.

This does not mean they are accepting Canadian jurisdiction over themselves or the Haudenosaunee. Canadian agents have no right to abuse human rights or commit crimes against anyone, including those foreign to Canada . Canada has signed many agreements promising to uphold international human right standards. You don’t have to be a Canadian citizen to sue Canada . Canada ’s courts have an obligation to uphold the law.

The following “Statement of Claim” shows that we can defend ourselves. They two grandmothers filed their complaint in the Federal Court of Canada, under Section 48 of Canada ’s Federal Court Act. [You can find the instructions for filing on the Federal Court website]. To get things going, you pay the filing fee and hand in 5 copies of your “Statement of Claim”. The court clerk puts on a gold stamped seal and signs it to prove it has been filed. They serve it on the government the next day, and the crown has 30 days to answer.

When you draft your claim, just put the facts down. Make sure you don’t include any allegations that you can’t prove. For example, you need a direct witness, documentary evidence or video tapes from CBSA cameras. If you miss a deadline, your case will be finished. The crown has to follow the law too, but it might try to ignore you. Don’t forget to include a demand that federal officials follow the court’s timelines.

September 19, 2008, is the crown’s deadline for answering the two grandmothers. If the crown doesn’t answer, Canada will lose by default. The court should then order Canada to meet the grandmothers’ demands.

MNN Staff

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