Mohawk land or not doesn’t matter

Le Devoir ran a sniffy little piece this week stating a position I’ve seen before, that Montreal isn’t really Mohawk land at all.

Some people will claim anything to go back to terra nullius – the opinion that nobody lived here, thus it was fine for Europeans to sashay in, plant a cross and a flag, and declare it belonged to them. But it didn’t. Native people then didn’t have a European type of land ownership, but that doesn’t mean the island of Montreal was up for grabs. We know natives lived here, some more, some less nomadically, before Europeans showed up. They had villages or encampments, they regarded it as part of their geography.

Claiming it was not specifically Mohawk land is a red herring.