A hate crime in Tyendinaga
By Tom Keefer
TYENDINAGA MOHAWK TERRITORY – On Saturday April 30th, Ohaheyo, a 24 year old Kanyen’kéhaka (Mohawk) man was the victim of a hate crime. He attended a party that a group of white people were having at the quarry in Tyendinaga. At one point he was accused of stealing beer from another party-goer, and the situation escalated into a conflict in which Ohaheyo was severely beaten, almost thrown into the quarry waters (which could have been fatal) and was repeatedly called “faggot” as he was severely beaten. Ohaheyo suffered a collapsed lung, fractured ribs, a fractured eye socket, and severe bruising across his face and body.
Ohaheyo is calling the event a “hate crime”. He says “It was pretty clear that being a faggot was the real reason why everything was happening, cause that’s the only thing they kept yelling. They didn’t yell ‘thief,’ they didn’t yell ‘squaw.’ They didn’t yell anything but faggot.”
This quarry was the site of a major confrontation in 2006 when the Ontario Provincial Police confronted Mohawks blocking the extraction of their land from the quarry as negotiations over it were taking place.
After Ohaheyo was released from hospital he spoke to Real Peoples Media and gave his account of what happened.