First To Blink: Standoff Of Mohawk Warrior And Canadian Soldier During The Oka Crisis
September 1, 1990
During a land dispute known as the Oka Crisis, Canadian Press photographer Shaney Komulainen captures one of the most famous images of the standoff between a town and a nation. In the photo, Royal 22nd Regiment perimeter sentry Patrick Cloutier is seen facing off against Mohawk Warrior and University of Saskatchewan student Brad Larocque, the tension between opposing sides summed up in expression and posture.
The Oka Crisis was a land dispute between the town of Oka, Quebec and members of the Mohawk Nation, stemming from the town's plans to further develop a golf course and condominium development on land used as burial grounds of Mohawk ancestors.
The conflict began with the local development dispute in the Mohawk community of Kanesatake on July 11, 1990. Seventy-eight days later the crisis came to end, resulting in the death of one Quebec police officer, the Mohawks surrendering to Canadian military, and Club de Golf Oka remaining a 9-hole course to this day.