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Kanesatake commemorates 1990 Oka Crisis

Mohawks from Kanesatake, Que., march to mark the 25th anniversary of the Oka Crisis, in Oka, Que., on Saturday, July 11, 2015. .
Mohawks from Kanesatake, Que., march to mark the 25th anniversary of the Oka Crisis, in Oka, Que., on Saturday, July 11, 2015. . Ryan Remiorz / The Canadian Press

KANESATAKE, Que. – Festivities will take place today to mark the 25-year anniversary of the Oka Crisis, the violent 78-day standoff over disputed territory between Mohawks and authorities.

Those scheduled to attend include Assembly of First Nations Grand Chief Perry Bellegarde and Francine Lemay, the sister of the provincial police corporal whose shooting death sparked the showdown.

Marcel Lemay was shot on July 11, 1990, as police clashed with Mohawk Warriors in Kanesatake, just west of Montreal.

The Mohawks were upset the town of Oka had approved a golf course expansion onto territory they had never surrendered to the government.

The Canadian Forces were eventually called in and it was only in late September that the crisis ended.

Various native and non-native leaders will speak today, while activities will include a feast, a lacrosse game and a tug-of-war.

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