Tag Archives: Mohawk Council of Akwesasne

Standing United Against Pipeline

A group shot of different representatives of the Haudenosaunee camp. Seneca , Cayuga, Onondaga , Oneida , and Mohawks all standing together in defense of the water at Standing Rock. Handout/Cornwall Standard-Freeholder/Postmedia Network

A group shot of different representatives of the Haudenosaunee camp. Seneca , Cayuga, Onondaga , Oneida , and Mohawks all standing together in defense of the water at Standing Rock. Handout/Cornwall Standard-Freeholder/Postmedia Network

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Cornwall Standard-Freeholder

The protest in Standing Rock is having a far reaching impact.

Mohawk Council of Akwesasne District Chief Troy Thompson and Cornwall Island resident Kaylee Jacco both went to North Dakota to stand with other First Nations communities in protest against the pipeline which they believe is endangering the water supply.

Thompson said he wanted to assess the situation and see for himself what exactly was happening.

“We met a gentleman in the Red Warrior Camp,” said Thompson. “The members of this camp were very involved with the people on the front lines. They are the ones getting arrested.”

Thompson said by the time he got there in September, there had been over 22 arrests. He said the National Guard and local police forces were both on the scene.

“And that’s when it became really aggressive towards the protesters,” he said. “The people being arrested were also being harassed, they were being bullied and threatened. Just a lot of silly stuff.”

Thompson said the charges kept getting increased, as did the fines and the price of bail. Thompson said the Red Warrior Camp was getting a lot of financial support from outside the reservation and he said it seemed like the authorities wanted to drain their bank accounts.

“When we first drove in, the National Guard set up check posts at both sides before you enter Standing Rock and they were seizing supplies that were going to the camp,” he said. “That was really discouraging to see and hear about.”

Thompson said there are still some members of the Akwesasne community in Standing Rock showing their support for the protesters.

“We are very much in support of what they are doing down there,” he said. “In light of what has been happening locally, in Montreal they dumped five billion liters of raw sewage into the river and in Gatineau they just dumped 20 million liters of raw sewage in the river. We are very, very disappointed this is happening and very frustrated and worried. If we keep going down this road, there is going to be damage that is irreversible.”

Thompson said it isn’t only natives who were concerned with the quality of water.

“We all need to do our part to protect the water sources,” he said. “The water source that is the nature of the Dakota access pipeline feeds to one million people, native and non-native. It’s not just for native people.”

Thompson said when he was a boy, he heard two adults talking about a war over water in the future and he thought that it could never happen because there was so much water.

“It was a prophecy,” he said. “Because right now we are fighting for clean water. We are living among the war for water. I find it mind-boggling how corporate America stages people against protesters who are protectors of the water. There are so many injustices going on down there.”

Thompson said if the pipeline wins and goes through Standing Rock Reservation, there will be a protest across the country.

“Being with my Lakota brothers and sisters in Standing Rock, North Dakota, fighting the same fight our ancestors did changed my life,” said Jacco. “I only meant to stay at camp for one week fighting DAPL, but after I became witness to the injustice against my people and experienced the unity among hundreds of nations I couldn’t find it in me to come home as planned.”

Jacco said in standing up against security officers of an oil pipeline unarmed, there wasn’t enough time to be afraid even though she was staring into faces behind SWAT shields, with people holding mace and guns loaded with bean bags and rubber bullets.

“I don’t understand how they can do the things they do,” she said. “I am still in disbelief of what is happening.”

Jacco said they were told to remain peaceful and in prayer, but at times this was not easy.

“The people were beaten down and tired, but still stood tall,” she said.

Jacco said the camp she stayed at was a community with a place for every need, including medical and legal services.

“I was trained in direct action training before being allowed on the front line,” she said. “(I was taught) basic knowledge on how to remain non-violent in the face of violence.”

Jacco said she saw an underaged boy with a number written on his arm from a mass arrest. His number was over 150.

“He told me they put people in dog kennels,” she said. Jacco added being in the camp was tough. The nights were cold and many were sleeping on the ground. She said on two occasions the protestors were in the cold water protesting to be allowed access to sacred burial sites to pray for their ancestors whose graves were desecrated.

Jacco herself was tear-gassed while protesting the pipeline.

“This pipeline will hurt our future generations,” said Jacco. “We need to stop corporations from destroying our mother earth. If I wasn’t the mother of a beautiful two year old I’d still be in Standing Rock. This isn’t just a native issue. It’s so beautiful to see every race joining our fight.”

The Article; Standing United Against Pipeline by Lois Ann Baker, was posted in Cornwall Standard-Freeholder on Nov 16, 2016


Mohawk Council Of Akwesasne Does Not Recognize Newly Formed “Mikinak Tribe”


Mohawk Council of Akwesasne/Facebook

Press Release by: Mohawk Council of Akwesasne, July 13, 2016

The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne has been informed that a newly formed group named the “Mikinak Tribe,” is fighting for the recognition of their members as Status Indians. This self-identified group, which is based out of Beauharnois, Quebec, seems to have ulterior motives that are money driven, and the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne does not recognize or support this group as a First Nation Community.

During a radio interview on July 8, 2016 with the K103 Partyline Talkshow, Guillaume Carle, who identifies himself as the National Grand Chief and National Spiritual Elder of the Confederation of Aboriginal People of Canada, noted that he was “a warrior from Akwesasne,” and that he had “approached Akwesasne,” and is “working together (with Akwesasne).” Additionally, in a June 29, 2016 interview with APTN, there is a nameplate that clearly displays Grand Chief of Akwesasne during a “Mikinak Tribe” meeting.

Grand Chief of Akwesasne Abram Benedict notes that “the Mikinak tribe has not approached the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne nor do we have any affiliation with them. This self-identified group seems to be claiming to be a Status Indian in order for tax exemption and money-driven motives.”

Lise Brisebois, a “Chief” of the “Mikinak Tribe,” has threatened businesses in Candiac, Quebec that if their members are refused to honour the Mikinak ID Cards, they could potentially blockade the highways, according to an article that was printed by the National Post on July 7, 2016.

Dennis Chaussi, District Chief of Kawehno:ke for the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne, articulates that this identifies how the group “is attempting to benefit themselves by utilizing Indian Status. Members of Akwesasne are very passionate about our background and heritage, and the ‘Mikinak Tribe’ is making a mockery out of First Nations Groups that have fought for their people, their culture and their inherent rights for hundreds of years.”

In order for an individual to become a member of the “Mikinak Tribe,” they have to pay $80 and show proof of their “Indian Gene,” regardless of how far back it is in their ancestry, according to Carle.

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada noted in the APTN interview “while these cards convey membership to an organization, they do not convey Indian Status.”

Grand Chief Abram Benedict also added, “While Council appreciates the support of any organization or individuals that backs First Nations Inherent Rights, this group is only trying to benefit themselves -not true First Nations people.”

Source: Mohawk Council of Akwesasne

Canada Offers Settlement For Historic Indigenous Land Dispute

Protestor Joe Taylor marches with a Mohawk flag against the government’s approval of the Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline in Vancouver, BC. | Photo: Reuters

teleSUR English‎ | Published 25 May 2015

The Akwesasne would have to renounce all claims to the territory to accept the Canadian government’s land settlement offer. The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne announced Monday that the Canadian government offered about US.$200 million to settle a historic land dispute over the traditional unceded Mohawk indigenous territory spanning more than 20,000 acres along the banks of Canada’s St. Lawrence River.

According to the Mohawk First nation, the lands in question, called Tsikaristisere or Dundee Lands, were never sold or surrendered and have been under ongoing occupation by the Canadian government since the 1800s. Intermittent negotiations over the land claim, a portion of the Mohawk territory located in the Canadian province of Quebec, have been ongoing since the 1980s.

RELATED: First Nations in Canada Demand End to Water Crisis

Accepting the settlement offer would require the Mohawks of Akwesasne to give up all claims to the Dundee Lands, the Mohawk Council, an elected community government, explained in a statement. The agreement is subject to a community referendum to be held in the coming months, preceded by a series of educational sessions for the community on the history of the land claims and the implications of the settlement.

 Map of the Mohawk's Dundee, or Tsikaristisere, land claim. (Government of Canada)

Map of the Mohawk’s Dundee, or Tsikaristisere, land claim. (Government of Canada)

The agreement would also make tens of thousands of acres available to the Akwesasne to turn into reserve lands.

Akwesasne is a Mohawk First Nation whose traditional territory extends across the U.S.-Canada border and across the Canadian provincial border between Ontario and Quebec. Despite their territory being separated by an international border, members of the First Nation see themselves as belonging to one community, arbitrarily divided.

In 2009, Akswesasne protested the arming of federal immigration authorities of the Canadian Border Services Agency at the U.S.-Canada border.

Mohawk people were harassed for months by local police, border control agents, and RCMP national security forces, forcing some to leave their homes.

In 2014, the Tsilhqot’in Nation became the first First Nation to win title to its historic territory in a landmark Supreme court decision to recognize the Indigenous land claim to about 680 square miles in the interior of the western Canadian province of British Colombia.