Mohawk Council of Kanesatake

Mohawk Council of Kanesatake

May 24, 2007 13:21 ET

Important notice - Kanesatake Council Chiefs Taking Measures to Maintain the Community's Essential Services

KANESATAKE, QC, May 24 - For your information, here is the
important notice from May 17th.

She:kon Kanesatakero:non,

Please be informed that as of May 18, 2007, the Chiefs and the Grand
Chief will be laid-off as a result of lack of funds throughout all MCK
services. We want to assure the community that we are committed to fulfill the
three-year mandate and have put procedures in place to ensure that essential
services are maintained. Council will continue to meet on a regular basis
outside work hours to conduct the business of the Community.

Since the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs has refused to assist
the Council in the repaying of the debt, money from flexible funding programs
(such as Band Support), are to be used to repay outstanding creditors. Council
has no other choice but to take these exceptional measures in order to
maintain essential services; and we as responsible elected representatives of
Kanesatake will not add to the deficit.

We have been informed that the Federal Government has yet to renew the
mandate for Negotiations and that all issues under the negotiation process are
currently at stake. The Council is very deeply concerned with the future of
Negotiations for Kanesatake and will continue to impress upon the Government,
the importance to pursue Negotiations for our future generations.

We find at this critical stage that this situation that is being forced
upon us by the Government is deplorable and unjust. Just as the first steps
were taken to negotiate our historical claim to the Seigneury of Lake of Two
Mountains, the Government chooses this time to suspend the Negotiations
mandate and to do further cuts to the financial budgets for Kanesatake. This
is adding insult to injury ! We will not allow that Canada withholds money in
an effort to bring to a standstill our land claim and further cripple our
inherent right to govern ourselves. The money which they seem to forget, comes
from resources taken from Kanienkehaka lands and which to this day are still
being taken.

Council took the initiative to deliver this message in person to
Mr. André Côté, Director General - Quebec Region of Indian and Northern
Affairs Canada at his office in Quebec (May 15th.) Also present was Mr. Pierre
Nepton, Associate Regional Director General-Quebec Region I.N.A.C. We also
told them that we were not leaving that office until we had answers and a date
for a response to the continuance of the Negotiations. Their response was to
inform Council that the contract for the Federal Negotiator had been renewed
yet the mandate to negotiate has still to be decided, this is to be expected
in the next two to three months.

We urge you to have your voices heard and demand that Minister Prentice
addresses our long-standing claim, renews the mandate for Negotiation and
assists the Council in improving Kanesatake's financial, economical and social

This does not only affect us, but all First Nations across Canada who are
struggling to have their land claims issues settled, as confirmed by the
National Chief Phil Fontaine.

The Minister can be reached at this address:

Hon. Jim Prentice, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development Canada
10 Wellington Street
Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0H4
(Letters mailed to government officials do not require a postage stamp)

Or by - Fax # (819) 953-4941

Nia:wen, The Chiefs of the Mohawk Council of Kanesatake

Contact Information

  • Chief Clarence Simon
    450-479-8373, ext. 224