MNN. Sep. 7, 2015. About five years ago Mr. SOS got in touch with me by email. He was affiliated with a group at McGill University environmental issues and a group of Montreal Island history aficionados. He also worked with kahnawake elders to list Mohawk place names on Montreal Island and surrounding areas.
Recently an issue came up about Turcot Yard, the land south of the escarpment on Upper Lachine Road across the river from Kahnawake. Historically, from Ville St. Pierre to Atwater was a seven mile lake. In 1535 Jacques Cartier came upstream from the kaniatarowano:onwe/St. Lawrence River/river of the Mohawks and landed there at Hochelaga.
Cartier wrote about his walk along the escarpment and the food the kanion’ke:haka/Mohawks had grown there. Montreal Island was covered with over 50 kanion’ke:haka villages and hundreds of streams, creeks, lakes and ponds. The lakes were filled with life and beech and other nut trees and orchards created food and an unending fresh water supply. The lake was turned into a landfill. St. Pierre, the rail yards, highways and expressways were built on top.
Mr. SOS is 62 years old, very fit, does not eat cooked food. The web does not reveal previous jobs. He has a small pension. He later said he was paying $1000 a month in child support. He claims to be a Jew and part ongwe’hon:weh [cultural appropriation]. His townhouse is cluttered from top to bottom with papers and stuff, like a busy work place, with no place to sit or chat. He has no car and uses a neighbor’s bike.
Mr. SOS’s townhouse is in a housing project at the Whisky Trench road that comes from kahnawake and hooks up to Highway 20, which goes downtown to Montreal. Turcot yard was a rail yard, which is no longer viable. Expressways were built in 1966, which are now falling apart and being taken down. The construction workers found an old French village but decided to continue the construction.
On September 4, 2015 I called Mr. SOS and asked him about it. He talked about the escarpment and the lake, which is all Mohawk land. I had never personally met him. He invited me to his place in Lasalle to look at maps and discuss the history. Though I live 5 minutes away he asked me to stay overnight. I declined. He insisted and made me feel uncomfortable. He invited me to have supper. He picked herbs outside and made a salad. Later he told me he uses his shit and piss to nourish his garden. Yuck!
Once again he insisted I stay overnight. I left. We arranged to meet the following day, Saturday, September 5, to walk on the land in question. I parked on the street. His ‘son’ was inside waiting to meet me and then left. We started walking down the hill by the park. About two minutes later, SOS said he forgot the map and ran back to his house. 20 minutes later he returned with a knapsack on his back. He took my bottle of water and put it in his bag. I kept my car key and cell phone in my bag.
SOS talked about setting up 100-people communities to share food, responsibilities and profits. He talked about finances, investments and so on. It would take millions. He had $45,000 but had access to lots of money. he told me his family is wealthy. His mother grew up in the Chateau Frontenac Hotel in Quebec City. His father was a businessman.
It was hot and muggy. We walked along the Lachine Canal to the bridge over to Ville St. Pierre.
I thought he lived in the project for 30 years. But he’s only been there for 5 years. He was evasive about his previous residences other than in BC and Pointe Claire Quebec.
We walked up the main street of St. Pierre to a bridge. SOS said we should go down the right side of the bridge and walk along the road to the old St. Raphael hotel site. There we crossed Highway 20 and got onto the north side of the road to Angrignon Mall. It curved through a huge Turcot Yard construction site with high piles of dirt and rocks. SOS then insisted that we walk through this deserted construction site. He wanted us to cross, climb over the fence and then walk through the rubble. I refused. About 500 ft. further was a busy road going over to the shopping mall, which had traffic lights and a sidewalk. I insisted we go there.
I kept asking for water, which he kept withholding. “Let’s find a place, sit down and then drink some water”, he said. I said ‘no’, I want it now! So he had to give it to me.
We walked over the overpass and down the stairs to get to the Lachine Canal though a construction site and some shrubs. In a shack were 3 people who waved to us. We walked by, went through the shrubs to the Canal. We walked and he did not talk much.
Later I called my friend and told her about the event. She said his house in Lasalle might be a communications center; that Lasalle is part of the Seigneury of Sault St. Louis land claim by the Mohawks of kahnawake. Another friends said, “He might be a cop!” His sister said, “He might be a CSIS hit man!” Or an infiltrator? He bicycles over to Kahnawake, makes friends, gets involved with people there in language, arts, and other programs. He has become familiar with the community.
Throughout the 20 kilometer walk I questioned him about his monetary interests, misunderstanding and misinformation about us. He had a nervous laugh. Almost like he was playing nice. Was he working on my untimely disappearance? Another missing ongwe’hon:weh woman!
He wants to live by the kaia’nere’kowa. He thinks if somebody commits a murder, they should be forced to live by the Great Peace and to forgive them. I answered, “When we were being murdered, not one of you stood up for us and you still don’t. For murder, the criminal is executed, along with his entire family. This goes for the genocide that continues today by all those who are benefitting, including you, Mr. SOS”.
The next day I got itchy like mosquitoes were biting me all over my body. Did I dodge a bullet? Is Mr. Nice Guy somewhere in our neighborhood? Anyone with a voice and knows how to use it gets targeted. Anyone could turn into an agent anytime.
As Elvis sings, “As the snow flies on a cold and gray Chicago morning, a poor little baby child is born in the ghetto”.
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