This is a really interesting column by Jessica Yee, a Mohawk activist, on this story.
The situation of the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake (MCK) asking 26 non-Natives to leave the community based on so-called "traditional" law has been making waves of discussion, debate, and dialogue for and against this measure across Turtle Island. Our three Mohawk communities (Kahnawake, Kanasatake, and Akwesasne where I'm from) are fairly close together so this is an issue that has particularly hit home for me -- amongst other members of our closely-knit communities. Ellen Gabriel, spokeswoman for Oka (Kanasatake) and now the president of the Quebec Native Women's Association issued an open-letter to the council, which is worth reading in its entirety here, where she calls down the council's actions based on what it actually means to be Kanien'kehá:ka/Mohawk traditionally, and today.
My dear friends and colleagues Tracey Deer and Steve Bonspiel, who own and write for the Kahnawake community newspaper called The Eastern Door wrote the following two-part editorials to the community. With their permission, I've re-posted it below because I really believe we ought to take into account ALL of what they're saying. Many of you know what it's like to get flack for writing online -- but it is totally different when so much of your own community is impacted by a PHYSICAL paper, not to mention people knowing where you live, who your family is, and the fact that they see you on a daily basis if you live in a small one. I think it's particularly important to remember this type of real activism on the ground and the strength it requires to speak your truth -- which is something we sometimes neglect to mention about this type of lateral violence that can happen in the offline world.