MCA and federal government reach $45 million settlement

Nick Seebruch
MCA and federal government reach $45 million settlement
Mohawk Council of Akwesasne logo.

AKWESASNE, The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne (MCA) approved the Seaway Claim Settlement Agreement on June 11, 2018.

The MCA will now be conducting community consultation sessions with its members before the agreement is put to a final vote in a referendum.

“Over the past two and half years, Council has devoted substantial resources to resolve this 42 year-old grievance. The MCA negotiating team should be commended for their efforts to reach a settlement with representatives of Canada,” said Grand Chief Abram Benedict. “The proposed settlement will be the subject of in-depth community education. Once that is complete, the MCA will hold a referendum to determine whether or not the community approves the agreement.”

The settlement includes $45 million work of compensation in addition to the return of lands along the Seaway Bridge corridor.

“Lands around the perimeter of Kawehno:ke, known as the “Block 1 Lands,” were already set to be returned to Akwesasne through the Additions-to-Reserve process,” the MCA press release reads. “The MCA and Canada have now reached agreement on the return additional lands in the bridge corridor on Kawehno:ke.”

The MCA state in their press release to the media that the Seaway Expansion project and the construction of the Moses-Saunders Power Dam in the 1950s seriously damaged their community’s lands and way of life. In 2008, the MCA reached an agreement with the Ontario Power Generation (OPG) that saw a $46 million settlement paid to the MCA for the Power Dam project. That settlement money was used to create the Mohawks of Akwesasne Community Settlement Trust.

“With the completion of negotiations with Canada, Akwesasne is close to a resolution of an historical grievance that will help our community to heal and move forward,” said Benedict.

The final referendum vote on the federal settlement will happen later in 2018.

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