Get ready for another hot summer.
In recent weeks Mohawks have come closer to violent confrontation with police than any time since the heated summer of 1990.
The Mohawks of Kanehsatake provoked the ire of the Quebec government and police when they started work on expanding their cemetery near the Oka golf course.
The mayor of Oka, Jean Ouellette, opposes the expansion saying the town owns the land around the cemetery. Ouellette has called on the Surete du Quebec to intervene.
Plainclothes officers have been monitoring the work and have laid charges against some of the Mohawks. No arrests have been made yet.
A similar request by Ouellette for SQ intervention led to a SWAT team raid on Mohawk barricades near Oka in 1990 that left one police officer dead.
Kanehsatake Chief Jerry Peltier says the Pines around the cemetery are sacred Mohawk land and that the tiny cemetery is badly in need of expansion.
Under heavy pressure from the Parti Québécois, Native Affairs Christos Sirros gave the SQ a green light to stop the expansion work on May 30.
“It is a question of public order, and appropriate force must apply,” Sirros said.
Two days later, the Band Council promised to stop the work and enter discussions with a federal mediator, Judge Rejean Paul.