AKWESASNE – The government of Canada has offered the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne (MCA) $45 million as compensation for the construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway in the 1950s.
As a part of the settlement, some lands in the area of the bridge corridor to Kawehno:ke are also being offered back to the MCA. The MCA had filed proceedings against the Canadian government over the Seaway in 1976.
“The St. Lawrence Seaway and Power Project changed Akwesasne in many harmful and damaging ways,” the MCA commented in a press release. “In 2008, Ontario Power Generation signed a settlement agreement with Akwesasne to accept responsibility for their part in damages to the community’s lands and way of life when the hydro dam was constructed along with the Seaway. That $46 million offer was accepted by Akwesasne through a community referendum in 2008 and was used to create the Mohawks of Akwesasne Community Settlement Trust.”
The deal between the MCA and the Canadian government is still being finalized. Once it is, the settlement will have to be approved by MCA members via a referendum.
“More information on the Seaway proceedings will be presented at this month’s MCA General Meeting, taking place Saturday, January 27, 2018 from 10 am to 1:30 pm at the Tsi Snaihne Recreation Centre,” stated the MCA. “General Meetings are open to all MCA members, regardless of their residency. Please attend to receive vital information and to provide your input.”