Three Mohawk communities in southern Quebec have declared themselves no-go areas for the Surete du Quebec.

“We’re putting the red lights up to the provincial police,” said Kanehsatake Grand Chief Jerry Peltier in a Gazette story. “If they go through these lights, they are breaking the law—our law.”

The Grand Chiefs of Kanehsatake, Kahnawake and Akwesasne said in a joint announcement on Nov. 18 that they would set up a Mohawk police force and keep the SQ out of their ‘ communities. The main focus is on Kanehsatake, where tensions with the SQ have flared repeatedly since the Oka crisis of 1990.

The Mohawk announcement followed a recent order by Quebec Justice Minister Serge Menard to the SQ to enforce the law in Kanehsatake just like anywhere else in Quebec. That order led Grand Chief Peltier to fear a repeat of the Oka crisis. “We’re on the verge of a collision course,” he said.

Menard was defiant after the Mohawk announcement. He said that if Mohawk Peacekeepers arrive at Kanehsatake from the other communities to help provide police services, “they might not be able to enforce infractions… They may find they have no legal status. And if they do something illegal, we may proceed against them.”