Kanesatake council disturbed after 'threatening' black crosses posted in the community

Community members in Kanesatake voiced concern Friday morning, Jan. 31, 2020, when they woke up to black crosses posted throughout the Mohawk community north of Montreal.

The grand chief of the Mohawk Council of Kanesatake (MCK) is disturbed after seeing his and fellow council chiefs' names on black crosses placed near a small Quebec village.

"Who the hell would write this?" said MCK Grand Chief Serge Otsi Simon Saturday morning. "We collected about 15 crosses, each one with different messages. I'm mentioned on one or two of them but they just use the name 'Simon.'"

The signs were picked up near Oka, a community located about 45 minutes north of Montreal.

In a news release, the MCK said the black wooden crosses appeared early Friday, between 6 and 7:30 a.m.

Messages written on regular office paper were taped to the crosses.

The messages were written at different angles, and in red and black marker. One read "peace not war," but many aren't so easily comprehensible, according to images of the crosses issued by the council. Council also posted a grainy photo of a potential suspect who may have posted the crosses.

Simon said community store owners have been cooperating with the council and showed good faith by providing surveillance footage. In addition, community members have been patrolling the area looking for suspicious behaviour.

Provincial police have been notified and Simon said an investigation is underway.

An SQ spokesperson said they don't comment on complaints, and that no charges have been filed.

The MCK is asking community members with surveillance cameras to assist in identifying possible suspects.

Simon said community members are on high alert watching for suspicious activity, but that he has advised them to remain calm and avoid confrontations.

"I told them, just don't react. Keep your eyes open," said Simon.