CORNWALL, Ontario – Cornwall City Council and the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne (MCA) held a joint council meeting at the Cornwall Civic Complex on Wednesday, June 19, 2019.
The meeting involved introductions between Cornwall’s council members and the MCA’s District Chiefs.
After two short presentations where both sides familiarised the other with the make-up, strengths and challenges of their respective communities, a dinner was served.
“Today is about relationship building,” said Cornwall Mayor Bernadette Clement. “I am so pleased that we are together this evening and that we will be breaking bread together.”
Mayor Clement said that she hoped that stronger connections between the two neighbouring municipalities would lead to mutual growth.
“We are so honoured to host Grand Chief Abram Benedict and the chiefs of the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne,” she said. “We need to take the time to learn more about your successes. We are proud to be your neighbours in friendship and hope to become partners in progress.”
Grand Chief Abram Benedict stated that there were solutions to common areas of interest, like the Port Lands, that could benefit both parties.
“We all have the same thing in mind and that’s the communities that we serve,” he said. “Mayor Bernadette and I have talked about this a few times in the last little while. I know as councils we are committed to finding the solutions that are in the best interests of both parties.”
Both sides discussed the already existing links between the two communities like the joint venture to purchase, operate and develop the Port of Cornwall and the students of Akwesasne who go to high school in Cornwall.
Possible joint efforts to foster closer relations included the possibility of joint training between the two municipalities’ emergency services and members of Cornwall Council expressed an interest in touring Akwesasne, a proposal that was warmly accepted by the MCA District Chiefs.