CORNWALL, Ont. – Mohawk chiefs marched across both spans of the Seaway International Bridge on Friday to hand-deliver a request for a meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
The rally of an estimated 400 people stopped traffic on the bridge between Cornwall and the U.S. for more than three hours, as residents protested the border that splits their territory.
“These are your divisions,” said Chief Richard Mitchell, while speaking to Cornwall, Ont., Mayor Bob Kilger in the centre of the traffic circle. “…We should have the right to travel back and forth without impediments.”
The Mohawk leaders also met with Steve MacNaughton, a regional director of the Canadian Border Services Agency, offering a letter that outlined their concerns with the port-of-entry. They asked that the missive be passed along to Harper, as a first step towards a meeting to revisit treaties between the government and Haudenosaunee Six Nations Confederacy, which includes the Mohawks.
A chief from the Bear Clan said they didn’t walk across the bridges to “make trouble,” but as a reminder that the land still belongs to their people.