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August 31, 1990. After a Day of Negotiating in Montreal, Billy Two Rivers and Two Mohawk Women Try to Cross the St. Lawrence River to Avoid any Disputes with the Quebec Police., 31 August 1990

Benoit Aquin
Canadian, 1963
gelatin silver print
40.4 x 50.8 cm; image: 30.4 x 45.9 cm
Purchased 1991
Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography (no. EX-91-88)

In the summer of 1990, non-Aboriginal photographers Benoît Aquin and Peter Sibbald travelled to Oka, Quebec, to directly experience the crisis that had erupted between the Mohawk people, residents of Oka, the army and other law enforcement officials. Their photographs do not purport to be authoritative and comprehensive; many appear to question the very role of photography and the media in such circumstances and the capacity of outsiders to understand the complexity of a centuries-old conflict. Yet the images stand as a document to the seriousness of the event and a record of Canadian military intervention on Canadian soil.

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