Saturday, August 30, 2008

Haudenosaunee Grandmothers File Suit Against Canada


Mohawk Nation News Aug. 30, 2008.
Canada keeps trying to pretend it’s “open season” on the Kanionkehaka/Mohawk. It’s even okay to assault our elders and grandmothers. No steps have been taken to charge the Canada Border Services Agents CBSA who assaulted Katenies and Kahentinetha on June 14th 2008. Kahentinetha suffered a trauma induced heart attack. They tried to beat Katenies to a pulp. They act like this is “business as usual”. The prosecutors have not done their duty. Because of this there has been no public investigation and the crime has been swept under the carpet.
The two women have no money, but they have found a way that might make rogue crown agents accountable. They have filed an action in Canada ’s Federal Court.
This does not mean they are accepting Canadian jurisdiction over themselves or the Haudenosaunee. Canadian agents have no right to abuse human rights or commit crimes against anyone, including those foreign to Canada . Canada has signed many agreements promising to uphold international human right standards. You don’t have to be a Canadian citizen to sue Canada . Canada ’s courts have an obligation to uphold the law.
The following “Statement of Claim” shows that we can defend ourselves. They two grandmothers filed their complaint in the Federal Court of Canada, under Section 48 of Canada ’s Federal Court Act. [You can find the instructions for filing on the Federal Court website]. To get things going, you pay the filing fee and hand in 5 copies of your “Statement of Claim”. The court clerk puts on a gold stamped seal and signs it to prove it has been filed. They serve it on the government the next day, and the crown has 30 days to answer.
When you draft your claim, just put the facts down. Make sure you don’t include any allegations that you can’t prove. For example, you need a direct witness, documentary evidence or video tapes from CBSA cameras. If you miss a deadline, your case will be finished. The crown has to follow the law too, but it might try to ignore you. Don’t forget to include a demand that federal officials follow the court’s timelines.September 19, 2008, is the crown’s deadline for answering the two grandmothers. If the crown doesn’t answer, Canada will lose by default. The court should then order Canada to meet the grandmothers’ demands. MNN Staff
Assault, Arrest and Illegal Detention
By Canada Border Service Agents
At Cornwall Border
Court File No. F1309-08
Persons of the Kanion’ke:haka/Mohawk NationPlaintiffs
AndThe QueenSection 48, Federal Court Act
The plaintiffs demand that the individuals who assaulted them must be charged, tried and punished and that their personal possessions must be returned.
2. Canada ’s Constitution Act, 1982 states that Canada is governed by the rule of law and everyone is equal before the law.
3. This means that Canadian officials must obey the law, just like everyone else. When they commit an assault they should be charged with an assault under Canada ’s Criminal Code just like anyone else who commits an assault on the territory over which Canada claims jurisdiction.
4. Canada has failed to apply its laws equally in the area over which it claims jurisdiction.
5. Akwesasne is a small Kanionkehaka community that existed long before the Canadian state was conceived.
6. The Canada - U.S. border was placed in the middle of Akwesasne without the consent of the people of Akwesasne.
7. The people of Akwesasne must cross the Canadian border many times a day for groceries, to visit relatives and to conduct normal community life.
8.Kahentinetha is a 68-year old Kanionkehaka grandmother. Katenies is 43-years old and also a Kanionkehaka grandmother. Sakowaiaks is their friend.
9. On June 14, 2008 Sakowaiaks and Kahentinetha went to Akwesasne to pick up Katenies on the Kanatakon portion of the Akwesasne community.
10. At approximately 2:00 pm they arrived at the Canadian border control, which is situated in the Kawehnonkeh portion of the Akwesasne community.
11. The border agent took the identity documents of Katenies, Kahentinetha and Sakowaiaks and told them to wait under the canopy. Soon they took Kahentinetha’s car keys. The three hostages sat there peacefully for an hour surrounded by guards.
12. Some Kanionkehaka elders showed up to witness what was happening.
13. During this time, several other vehicles were searched and released. Only Indigenous people were stopped. All were residents of Akwesasne.
14. At approximately 3:00 pm, a platoon of about a dozen guards marched towards the car, all wearing leather gloves, flack jackets and all kinds of equipment hanging about their waists.
15. Throughout the attack on Kahentinetha and Katenies that followed, one officer, Maurice Saucier [Badge #16121], was on the cell phone directing operations.
16. Katenies was dragged violently from the back seat of the car by a gang of hefty young men and women dressed up as Canadian Border Services Agents. They knocked her down, pinned her to the ground, and forced their knees into her head and back. They handcuffed her and smashed and rubbed her face into the pavement.
17. Sakowaiaks heard the sound of flesh hitting the pavement.
18. Katenies received bleeding scrapes and bruises on her face, shoulders, arms and legs. She was taken into the customs building and later to Ottawa .
19. No charges were read to Katenies and her request for medical help was refused. She was not allowed to call her mother and her mother was not permitted to see her or speak to her. She was held incommunicado for three days until she appeared in Cornwall court on June 17, 2008.
20. After the assault on Katenies began, Kahentinetha was ordered to get out of the car. She was afraid to get out because of what they had done to Katenies.
21. Kahentinetha heard Maurice Saucier tell the other agents to “Take her out”. She was afraid for her life if she got out of the car.
22. Kahentinetha asked “What have I done?” She was not informed of any legal charges against her.23. Several agents started grabbing her and yanking her out of the car. She was thrown around, assaulted, handcuffed, and imprisoned.
24. In the cell, the attack continued. Kahentinetha’s shoes were taken. Some officers tightened the handcuffs she was wearing several times. This cut the circulation to her hands. Pain shot up her arms. She saw flashes of light and felt sharp pains in the middle of her chest and back. She cried out for help. The guards ignored her and tightened the handcuffs more. They yelled threats at her and kept ordering her to bend down. A man stood behind her and had his hands on her pants. She received scrapes and bruises on her arms and legs.
25. Frank Horn, Kahentinetha’s brother is a Cornwall lawyer. He and his son Kanatase, happened to be waiting in the line at the border.
26. When Frank Horn asked to see his sister, they took off the handcuffs and gave her a chair to sit on. When he saw her, he immediately insisted on calling an ambulance. The Akwesasne Police stood and watched in silence.
27. The ambulance took Kahentinetha to Cornwall Community Hospital and later to the Ottawa Ontario Heart Institute. She remained in hospital for 5 days in the trauma unit and intensive care unit. The doctors told her she had had a trauma induced heart attack.
28. Kahentinetha was in excellent health before the attack by the border guards. Her health is now fragile. On June 30th, 2008 she had a relapse and was hospitalized at the Anna Laberge Hospital in Chateauguay Quebec .
29. Neither of these women is associated with any kind of criminal activity.
30. Some of the CBSA officers involved in the attack had the following badge numbers: 17012; 16320; 16511; 16121; and 16275.
31. Katenies’ identity documents have not been returned. Also missing are documents that were in the trunk and the shoes taken from Kahentinetha’s feet.
The plaintiffs request:
a) Trial on appropriate criminal charges against the individuals who committed and directed the assault against them;
b) Full disclosure of all evidence including videotapes, cell phones, files, official communications, policing agreements and wiretaps concerning this action;
c) An order that all Canadian government agencies must respect our human rights as set out in international human rights instruments that Canada has signed;
d) An order that the accused and all involved Canadian government agencies must respect the time delays set out in the Federal Court Rules of Court;
e) $10 million for physical, psychological and punitive damages; andf) Such other relief as this court may deem fit.
The plaintiffs propose that this action be tried in the Federal Court of Canada at 30 McGill Street , Montreal Quebec .
August 20, 2008
Kahentinetha _______________
Katenies ___________________
Address of Service: For the purposes of this proceeding only, service to be made care of Julio Peris, 625 Rene Levesque West, Suite 900, Montreal, Quebec H3B 1R2 – 514-933-4656 Fax 514-93309587/I HEREBY CERTIFY that the above document is a true copy of the original issud out/filed in the Court on Aug. 20, 2008 A.D.
Signed by Nicole Reimen, Agent du Greffe, Registry Officer
PLEASE NOTE: As can be seen, it’s becoming critical for legal actions to be taken to protect our rights. We have no funds. Canada is hiring costly law firms to suppress our rights. If you can donate anything to our cause, it will be greatly appreciated.Donate to: PayPal,, or “MNN Mohawk Nation News”, Box 991, Kahnawake [Quebec, Canada] J0L 1B0. Nia:wen/Thank you very much.
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