Some individuals who live in Kanesatake are afraid and feel abandoned.

That’s the claim made by a coalition of community groups who say they represent terrified residents who’re afraid to talk publicly.

“Against the lawlessness of certain individuals in Kanesatake, who’ve been jeopardizing the health and the security of the community,” stated a masked spokesperson for the coalition, reading from an announcement the group said was prepared by residents.

He didn’t wish to be identified, citing concerns for his safety.

The spokesperson and others from the groups protested in front of federal Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Marc Miller’s Montreal office Tuesday, accusing federal and provincial governments of ‘passing the buck’ as a substitute of confronting problems within the Mohawk territory west of Montreal.

“There was no selection but to stay anonymous on this fiasco,” the spokesperson read.

The protesters, who said they wore masks to assist conceal the identity of three Kanesatake residents on the protest, identified that a part of the issue is a recycling dump on the territory that has created an environmental disaster.

Some fear drinking water could eventually turn out to be contaminated.

Federal opposition party members insist the difficulty is being ignored since it’s on Indigenous land.

“This is basically environmental racism and that is colonialism,” said Alexandre Boulerice, NDP member of Parliament for the Montreal riding of Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie.

Green Party of Canada deputy leader Jonathan Pedneault agrees.

“There’s a transparent lack of leadership on the a part of the Quebec government but in addition on the a part of the Liberal federal government,” he told reporters on the protest.

In a joint statement from the federal ministries of Indigenous services in addition to environment and climate change Canada, federal authorities say they’re concerned in regards to the environmental damage and the impact on community safety.

The statement reads, partially, “minister (Patty) Hajdu spoke with Québec minister (answerable for relations with the First Nations and the Inuit) Ian Lafrenière and agreed to convene a trilateral meeting with the Grand Chief of the Mohawk Council of Kanesatake to discover next steps as all parties work towards a constructive path forward.

“Minister Hajdu has also met with Grand Chief Bonspille and the Mohawk Council of Kanesatake.”

But in accordance with protesters, the meeting isn’t enough.

They are saying the community wants a protected way for residents  to voice their concerns to federal and provincial governments free from intimidation.

“We repeat the necessity for an independent investigation and for the necessity for participation from the (United Nations) special rapporteur on the rights of Inidigenous Peoples,” said the coalition spokesperson.

The Kanesatake band council didn’t reply to a request for comment by deadline.


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