M2007.69.15 | Tonight: Reds vs. Whites

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Drawing, cartoon
Tonight: Reds vs. Whites
Garnotte (alias Michel Garneau)
1990?, 20th century
Ink and opaque white on card
16.9 x 23.7 cm
Gift of M. Michel Garneau
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Crisis (453) , Culture / Sports (256) , Federal (334) , figure (1849) , group (644) , male (1608) , Mass media (86) , Mohawk (10) , Mohawk warrior (3) , Native (22) , Oka (7) , Oka crisis (9) , People (413) , Politics (1624) , Provincial (500) , soldier (21)
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Keys to History

The Oka crisis was covered very closely by the media. Putting a director on the scene, shouting instructions to the soldier and the Warrior, just as in an improvisation exercise, suggests that the media have an interest in helping create new developments or in blowing them out of proportion.

  • What

    Tensions between Native people and non-Natives were exacerbated by the involvement of the Sûreté du Québec (the Québec provincial police) and by the erection of road blocks at Kahnesatà:ke and Kahnawà:ke, causing a major crisis that made headlines outside Québec.

  • Where

    The Mohawk community of Kahnesatà:ke is part of the municipality of Oka, northwest of Montreal.

  • When

    The intervention of the Sûreté du Québec on July 11, 1990, the deployment of the army on August 20, and the dismantling of the barricades in September were the high points of the crisis.

  • Who

    This staged scene of "Reds vs. Whites" is a re-enactment of a face-to-face standoff at the Oka barricades that received heavy media coverage. Soldier Patrick Cloutier stood nose to nose for hours with a masked Warrior whose identity remains unknown. According to some reports, it was either Gordon "Noriega" Lazore or Brad Larocque.