Mohawk Council of Akwesasne Hosts Meeting With Newly Appointted Minister of Indigenous Affairs, Dr. Carolyn Bennett

Kentenhko:wa / November 25, 2015

On Wednesday, November 25, 2015, the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne welcomed the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, to the community of Akwesasne. Grand Chief Abram Benedict invited Minister Bennett to visit Akwesasne so that she could learn more about the community’s advancements since her last visit in 2006. In addition, this visit provided Minister Bennett the opportunity to tour the “Walking with our Sisters” commemorative art installation on Kawehno:ke (Cornwall Island) that honors missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and Two-Spirit people.

Grand Chief Benedict hopes that from this meeting, Mohawk Council illustrated how Akwesasne “is a model First Nation community and a center of excellence in numerous areas.”

During the meeting, Directors and Program Managers provided a brief breakdown of services provided to the community and projects that have occurred which highlighted the growth and progression of the organization, challenges in the areas and also how the Mohawk Council plans to address the issues. Additional areas discussed include the Political Protocol with Canada and Quebec and the multi-jurisdictional challenges that the community faces. Grand Chief Benedict noted that he hopes this meeting will “assist in building a close working relationship between MCA and Minister Bennett.”

The event included an opportunity for elders and community members to have discussions with Minister Bennett at the Tri District Elders Lodge, and concluded with the Minister visiting the Kawehno:ke Recreation to view the “Walking with our Sisters” art installation, with assistance from Native North American Traveling College (NNATC) Director, Konwahahawi, her staff and volunteers from "Walking With Our Sisters.".

While at the Art Installation, Minister Bennett expressed how she was “humbled to be here to honour the lives of….women and girls taken from us much too soon.”

Grand Chief Benedict also added that “having Minister Bennett visit Akwesasne to view the Art Installation expresses how she is putting this rising concern as a priority. Far too many Indigenous women, girls and Two-Spirit people have gone missing and been lost in First Nations communities across Canada.”