Christopher Morris

July 11, 1990, Oka, Quebec: Sûreté du Québec Corporal Marcel Lemay was shot and killed in a gun battle between the Quebec provincial police force and Mohawks from the Kanesetake reserve. The fight was sparked by the proposed expansion of a municipal golf course over a native burial ground. Natives from Canada and the U.S.A. were galvanized into action and a 78-day armed stand-off began. Other protests around Montreal ensued and the Canadian military were called in.
One of the most visible of the Mohawk warriors was a man who went by the nickname of “Lasagna.” Christopher Morris’s photograph of Lasagna, whose real name is Ronald Cross, appeared on the cover of Maclean’s magazine. It shocked many Canadians, who were not used to seeing armed conflict in Canada.
The Oka Crisis, as it came to be known, was a significant moment in the history of protest by Native Canadians. Other protests in the 1990s and more-recent movements like Idle No More can trace some of their origins to this dispute, where a shift in the relationship between Canada and its First Nations was born through social activism.

Christopher Morris lives on Canada’s West Coast. He started his photography career twenty-eight years ago shooting news and sports events in Montreal for The Canadian Press, Reuters, and local and national newspapers.
Now living in Vancouver, Christopher shoots primarily for magazines and has worked on assignments for Maclean’s, Time, Newsweek, Hello, The New York Times, The Times of London, The Observer, The Guardian, Der Spiegel, Stern and many other newspapers and magazines from around the world doing documentary work, news, sports, features, and portraits.
Christopher is currently a contributor to Corbis Images and Redux Pictures, and teaches at Langara College, Vanarts and Vancouver Photo Workshops.