Entering The War Zone: A Mohawk Perspective On Resisting Invasions
Donna Goodleaf

Theytus Books Ltd.

The 1990’s Oka Crisis left a host of disturbing images in its wake: a soldier and Mohawk warrior nose to nose; a white mob shouting hatred at “les sauvages,” and, for those living near lac-St-Louis, the ominous sound of helicopters turning in their circuit above Montreal’s West Island in the middle of the night.

Goodleaf has put together a book outlining these events from the Mohawk perspective. For starters, the “warrior” is, in the Kanienkehaka culture, a Rotiskenrahkete – a man carrying the responsibility of protecting the “origin.” They carry the burden of peace; they have the responsibility to build, educate, and work to provide for their people. The English word “warrior” has few such attributes.

Entering the War Zone begins with a summary of the Kanienkehaka people – their geopolitical characteristics and cultural identity. It goes on to detail the background to the Kanehsatake (Oka) Crisis, and, in sometimes painful detail, the responses of the Canadian and the Quebec governments. The role of NAFTA is also examined.

This book is worth reading because it is Oka (Kanehsatake) without the non-Indigenous filter. It ends with Goodleaf’s challenge to non-Indigenous people: “You can no longer afford to be fence sitters. You too, must make a choice because we are not the only ones who will be affected by NAFTA.” mRb