The police action came hours after a midnight deadline calling for the protesters to clear the area expired. OPP has not said whether anyone faces charges, nor a specific number of arrests, but acknowledged that the situation is “ongoing.”
Despite the day’s events, the lines of communication between the government and Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs remain open, Federal Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller said.
“It means now that we’re working even harder… We remain committed to a peaceful resolution,” he told reporters before Question Period on Monday. “We’re not only fighting days of suspicion and mistrust but decades and centuries.”
The Kahnawake Peacekeepers, the local police service, is closely monitoring the barricade as more people join the protest — which will continue throughout the day.
“We are not going to take down our barricades,” said Deer. “And we will continue to have peaceful demonstrations in support of the chiefs of Wet’suwet’en.”
The Mohawk Council of Kahnawake issued a statement on Monday afternoon, expressing its “outrage and disgust” regarding the arrests in eastern Ontario.
The council pointed specifically to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s “inflammatory” comments, which called for an end to blockades. The council said that contributed to the police intervention in Tyendinaga.
“What has happened over the past few days has, in fact, undone progress in building relations with Indigenous Peoples,” the council said.
The wave of arrests in eastern Ontario has also sparked road closures in Kanesatake, a Mohawk First Nation near Oka on the north shore of Montreal. Protesters are blocking Highway 344.