In writing the Grass Cage I spent a lot of time waiting for the phone to
ring and going to places where nobody was.
Just prior to filing, I was taken to meet a Warrior who wanted to speak on
behalf of the Warrior Society to Cannabis Canada, in response to the
"vilification" and "distortion" that was apparent in the general media.
What follows are his words.
Everybody planted their own way. People used a wide variety of methods and
lots of experimentation.
The breed being used was ‘First Lady’ which is a hybrid developed in
Oka. There was also ‘Freeze Land’ and ‘Super Skunk’.
RootTone was used for cloning. Jiffy Pots and Rockwool were the most often
used medium. Some indoor growers used a bunk bed system with 400 watt
sodium and metal halide. Twisted neon lights turned out to be quite good
for the cloning period.
People were generally on a small budget. Only a few used major equipment
like tractors. I would say that there were about 60 to 70 thousand plants.
This started because of the decline in the cigarette trade, which was due
to the government not recognizing the Jay Treaty.
We weren’t selling to the Mafia. We weren’t selling to the Hell’s
Angels. We weren’t selling the entire crop to one guy at the top. If you
wanted it and you knew people, you could buy it. Anyone could buy it.
People got jobs out of it. It gave people an opportunity to work in a
community of 95% unemployment. The federal government cut money for
development projects in half two years ago. Oka Park, which is our land,
doesn’t even hire Mohawks.
People got jobs guarding, trimming, pruning, and planting. It’s a lot of
work to get one pound per plant. Some planted small patches just for the
sake of it. Lots of people were learning. There were some thirteen year
olds working but only a few hired them. Most made sure that the guards were
It didn’t rain for 22 days. People had to carry buckets of water a long
way. A lot of water is required for a field. Fifty gallon barrels of water
were being transported by A.T.V.’s. Those that didn’t water lost their
plants, especially the young ones. We prayed for rain and did a rain dance.
There was a plan to save enough money to buy the machinery necessary to
convert hemp to cloth on a big scale. The plan has not been shelved, maybe
next year. Now we are very interested in communicating with hemp advocates
in the legal profession. If farmers in Ontario have the right to grow hemp
under license from the government then so do we.
Our ancestors grew hemp and tobacco. The 1760 Jay Treaty gives us the right
to trade in it.
The S.Q. came in because they were forced to and because some people were
jealous about the money, even though some of those same people had smaller
patches of their own. There were also some who made pressure because they
were against the Band Office.
There were journalists here sneaking around our backyards all week. We got
sick of it. Yeah, we wanted them out. We respect the press, but knock on
the front door.
When the S.Q. started raiding and began gathering plants some were ready to
fight. Fight for the right to grow marijuana. Yes, it was a revolutionary
act. There were others willing to fight too, but band office didn’t want
People still remember having their arms burnt with cigarettes by the
S.Q. while in holding cells in order to make them talk in 1990. It’s on
record with the United Nation Human Rights commission. It also became clear
that we didn’t have popular support for mass action. The raid was a
political act by the P.Q. against the Mohawks.
Did you see the coroner’s report on Oka? They said the S.Q. weren’t
justified in coming in in 1990. I believe that Cpl. LeMay was running guns
to the Anti’s in Akwasasne. He was seen working there. One man was killed
and had his body clothing changed into that of a Warrior’s then, in order
to increase tension between the Warriors and the Antis, he was killed with
the same round that the S.Q. uses, a 223.
The mayor of ValleyField shot himself in the head. Rumours of the
S.Q. dealing in cigarettes. LeMay gets shot. A lot of people say LeMay was
We’ve heard strong rumours of a September raid.
The S.Q. goons were nervous. They were practically running in the
fields. They were gathering all kinds of plants, constantly looking around
to see if anyone was coming and jumping every time we broke a branch from
where we were watching. Everyone seen watching had their picture taken.
They didn’t bust us in the past because they were afraid. They turned a
blind eye. I believe it was a U.S. military chopper that was shot down in
1989 or 1990 over Kanien Keh in New York State.
Four of the choppers on this raid had a large bell jar attached to the
bottom. We thought they were thermal or infra-red imaging cameras of some
kind. They had fully automatic AT15-223’s in each chopper.
During the raid there were about 10 Bell Telephone trucks on the reserve or
circulating on the roads around the reserve. We could hear them on the
scanners communicating with the S.Q. helicopters.
There’s always a bunch of Bell Telephone trucks on and around the reserve,
even though we only have about a thousand people. When the raids came they
knew exactly where to go. They were very well informed.
Some feel that there are plenty of spies at Public Works Canada. They rent
us homes on our own land but they won’t even fix a leaky roof.
The S.Q. were stopping all kinds of people on the highway checking inside
their trunks and cars. Several were busted.
We need an economy to build a nation. You can’t build a nation on bingo
halls and that money doesn’t get spread around much. People lose a lot of
money on bingo.
We do have a problem that I would like to address. Cocaine. Speaking on
behalf of the Warrior Society. We don’t want it. We don’t sell it. We want
it out. It’s a big problem. It’s hard to deal with. We can’t deal with it
in the same fashion as the I.R.A., by bombing the coke dealers, because our
communities are so small. You can’t rat on a cousin.
This enterprise is not over. We learned a great deal. The first rule in Ed
Rosenthal’s book is don’t talk. We broke that rule. About 5% of the
community will probably be charged.
I have to go. It’s very difficult for me to be here long or at all.