Oka: Standoff at Where the Fine Snow Crust Is

Oka: Standoff at Where the Fine Snow Crust Is

2017
150” x 45.5”
Archival print

A depiction of the "Oka Crisis", a land dispute between the Kanien"kehá:ka (Mohawk of Kahnesatake, "Where the fine snow crust is", and the town of Oka, Quebec, Canada, from July 11, 1990 to September 26, 1990. A standoff ensued over the planned expansion of a golf course into the Mohawk community of Kahnesatake"s burial grounds. Corporal Marcel Lemay of the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) was killed, purportedly by a police bullet, and had been investigating the deaths of two resident Mohawks by the SQ. On Aug 8, Quebec premier, Robert Bourassa requested military support from Conservative Prime Minister, Brian Mulrooney, who sent 3,700 troops against 53 entrapped Indigenous peoples..

The scene shows the standoff in the Pines between Mohawk warriors and the Canadian military, The Van Doos, the Royal 22nd Regiment, while clan"s women intercede, preventing a massacre. The right panels shows the Mohawk roadblock of Rue Saint Michel, the SQ with a counter roadblock, the golf course and cemetery.

The composition is created from over 300 manipulated stills from national television coverage and independent films.