© Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada.
Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Bernard Valcourt and Mohawk Council of Akwesasne Grand Chief Mike Kanentakeron Mitchell sign Agreements-in-Principle on governance and the management of lands.
CORNWALL, Ontario - The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne is lining up with other First Nations in Quebec, suggesting if the province ultimately chooses to separate from Canada it may hold a vote to do the same.
In a statement issued Tuesday Akwesasne Grand Chief Mike Mitchell said his territory is dominated by the Mohawk and English languages and new "more stringent" laws in an independent Quebec would be "alien to our culture."
"If Quebec ultimately chooses to separate, I would advise our council and community to hold our own vote in order to determine whether we would stay within the borders of Quebec or separate ourselves," Mitchell said.
Other First Nation communities in Quebec have made similar overtures.
How likely such a scenario would be is still up for debate. Quebec is in the midst of a provincial election, with the separatist Bloc Quebecois ahead in early polling.
Quebec Premier Pauline Marois has indicated another referendum on Quebec separation could take place if her party gets a mandate to govern.
Akwesasne illustrated its "very real concerns" about separation, suggesting two thirds of its territory is situated within the province of Quebec.
Many of Akwesasne’s islands are also located in Quebec.
"With the potential threat of this region’s culture and language becoming distinctly French, we must concern ourselves with the reality that there is not even 1 per cent of the Akwesasne population that speaks the French language," the MCA said in a statement.
Quebec’s election will take place April 7.