MCA Clarification On Banishment, Trespassing & Residency Laws

Onerahtohko:wa/May 25, 2017



The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne wishes to provide information to the community regarding its laws as they relate to the instance of any unwanted individuals in the territory of Akwesasne. This information relates to the northern portion of Akwesasne only, which is MCA’s jurisdiction.    

AKWESASNE MEMBERSHIP CODE & AKWESASNE RESIDENCY LAW – An individual who is not a member of the Mohawks of Akwesasne (as per the Akwesasne Membership Code) must apply for a residency permit as per the Akwesasne Residency Law (1997/1998-#60 May 22, 1997) in order to reside or stay in Akwesasne. A person is no longer considered a visitor and must apply for a residency permit if they have “stayed” in the community for more than 13 days/nights within any 30-day consecutive period.   

The Akwesasne Residency Law Section 4 states: – A non-member cannot reside on the Territory of Akwesasne for more than thirteen (13) days in any thirty (30) consecutive day period unless they:   
   * Have a Residency Permit, or      
   * Are a Tenant under a Lease Agreement, or     
   * Have an Occupancy License.      

Additionally, Section 6 states: Any person who knowingly provides residency to a non-member who has not complied with section 4, is guilty of an offence under this Law. 

PENALTIES: Any non-member found to be on the Territory of Akwesasne in violation of Section 4 is liable to be charged for trespass.            
AKWESASNE TRESPASS LAW - The Indian Act and Akwesasne Trespass Law restricts any non-First Nations person from trespassing on Akwesasne territory. This is enforceable by the Akwesasne Mohawk Police. It is used only to remove a person from the territory when necessary. Onkwehonwe or First Nations people cannot be charged with trespass under this law.         

CRIMINAL CODE OF CANADA TRESPASSING - Under the Criminal Code of Canada, the Akwesasne Mohawk Police Service may charge an individual with trespassing at night, if a person has entered private property without permission at night.          

AKWESASNE BANISHMENT LAW – MCA currently has a banishment law enacted in 1999, which applies only to repeating drug offenders from Akwesasne. The law has a series of requirements for enforcing and applies only to drug offences. 


ADDITIONAL INFO: MCA's Justice Department and its Mohawk Court & Compliance Officer, along with the Akwesasne Mohawk Police, share responsibilities regarding the community laws and by-laws.      

CHANGES/AMENDMENTS - Any community member who wishes to see new laws developed or existing laws amended should attend a general or district meeting to voice any concerns or needs, or contact a chief directly. The next MCA General Meeting will take place this Thursday, May 25th starting at 6 p.m. at the St. Regis Recreation. 

If you have any questions regarding the Akwesasne community’s policies and by-laws, please contact the Akwesasne Justice Department at 613-575-2400 or email for general inquiries. A number of MCA’s by-laws can also be found online at .