It’s been 25 years since the Oka Crisis made headlines across Canada and around the world during the long hot summer of 1990. What started out as a dispute over a proposed golf course that was to be built on ancestral land turned into a 78-day standoff between the Mohawks of Kanehsatake, the police and the army (which was marked by a blockade of the Mercier Bridge) that increased awareness of the plight and concerns of the indigenous people of Canada.
To mark the 25th anniversary of the Oka Crisis, the CBC-TV documentary series “Firsthand” will air for the first time the documentary “The Oka Legacy” on November 19 at 9 p.m. Directed by Kanehsatake native Sonia Bonspille-Boileau (who was only 12 at the time of the crisis), the 44-minute documentary examines the Oka Crisis and its long term effects on Canada’s indigenous communities, which included a series of successful and historical land negotiations, the creation of the APTN network and the monumental Truth and Reconciliation Commission that brought to light the tragic legacy of the resident schools to the Canadian public in general. For more information about the documentary, go to www.cbc.ca/firsthand/episodes/the-oka-legacy.