Navajo families arrested in Canada as Terrorists

Navajo families arrested in Canada as Terrorists

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John Ahni Schertow
September 18, 2007
 

A group of nomadic Navajo en route to support the Tyendinaga Mohawks were recently arrested in Ontario, as Suspected Terrorists.

The group of 28—who were unarmed and ranged between the ages of two and 72—travelled from the Arizona desert to British Columbia and then across Canada with several horses in tow.

The whole journey was without incident, but once they arrived in Ontario, they started getting pulled over. First in Wawa, then in Sault St. Marie, and finally in Kaladar (see map) where they were all arrested and put in a 48-hour detention for being ‘suspected terrorists’.

From the Belleville Intelligencer – “They’re saying they’re a political organization, which is a way of saying they’re a terrorist organization,” said Desareau of the group ranging in age from two to 72. “I could understand if it was all warriors coming for a demonstration, but it wasn’t.”

The nomadic group travels the desert from Arizona to the southernmost part of British Columbia, their starting point in a week-long journey to Deseronto, he said. They were coming “to honour (protest leader Shawn Brant) and the people that live here. In western Canada, we have reserves that are very poverty stricken. There are third-world conditions.”

Desareau, who had cellphone contact with the group, said he believes they were taken into custody by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to the Kingston detachment, where he heard they will be held for 48 hours. They were stopped on Highway 41, he said.

It didn’t ring any bells for OPP Sgt. Scott McRae, who said if the group was on Highway 41, the OPP would be policing it.

“I’ve been here all weekend and it’s been very peaceful in that area,” he said. “We don’t know anything about it.”

No one from the RCMP could be reached for comment Sunday.

The group was unarmed, said Desareau, who didn’t believe they would be held a full 48 hours. But it upsets him that they were stopped.

“I don’t believe they have a right to do that,” he said. “They broke no laws other than that they’re native.”

Source: http://www.intelligencer.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=696107

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