Military to apologize for Mohawk inclusion in counter-insurgency manual

Posted by admin on Dec 9th, 2010

By Greg Horn, Iori:Wase, Dec 09, 2010

The Canadian military is expected to formally apologize for including the Mohawk Warrior Society in a draft version of its counter-insurgency manual. The apology is expected to come in January or February.

A 2006 draft version of the military’s counter-insurgency manual was released publicly in March 2007. This manual included a reference to the Mohawk Warrior Society in a section that described different types of insurgencies. The offensing section was entitled “Overview of Insurgencies and Counter-Insurgencies.”

Native people across Canada immediately decried the inclusion, saying it was comparing Native groups – such as the Mohawk Warrior Society – with terrorist organizations like Hezbollah and the Taliban.

“An official apology for the inclusion of the Mohawk Warrior Society in a draft version of the counter-insurgency manual is expected to be delivered in the New Year,” Major R. Martell Thompson told Iorì:wase. “This apology is an important step in the relationship between the Canadian Forces and Canada’s Aboriginal community and the Army will ensure that it is delivered in an appropriate and respectful manner.”

The military is being tight-lipped about the details of the apology though.

“I will not comment further on the details of this matter at this time,” Thompson said. “As we do not wish to diminish the significance of this historic event.”

Former Mohawk Council of Akwesasne council Chief Cheryl Jacobs began writing letters to Peter McKay, the National Defense Minister, demanding an apology for this inclusion.

“We understand that a mistake was made,” Thompson said. “We’re going to apologize and it is important that we get it right.”

The reference in the manual directly quoted the master’s thesis of military historian Timothy Winegard, who has also written a book on the 1990 Oka Crisis – which pitted Mohawks against the Canadian Military and the Surete du Quebec for 78 days.

“The rise of radical Native American organizations, such as the Mohawk Warrior Society, can be viewed as insurgencies with specific and limited airms,” Winegard wrote in his thesis, The Court of Last Resort: The 1990 Oka Crisis and the Canadian Forces. “Although they do not seek complete control of the federal government, they do seek particular political concessions in their relationship with national governments and control (either overt or covert) of political affairs at a local/reserve…level, through the threat of, or use of, violence.”

Comments are closed.