Mohawks of Akwesasne Community Settlement Trust

July 21, 2016

TRUST RELEASE – 2016 BENEFIT PROCESS

The Trustees are pleased to announce the first release of benefits to the successful community applicants who participated in the inaugural pilot call for proposal process.  

This year marks the first year that the Mohawks of Akwesasne Community Settlement Trust was able to allocate available funds to address community priorities and projects.  This first year was deemed a “pilot” by the Trustees to gain insight and valuable lessons in communications and outreach with the community, proposal development, identification of appropriate selection and evaluation criteria and to examine the wide breadth of community priorities and how the Trust benefits can play a role in the long term goals of supporting and addressing those community priorities.

In early 2015, the Trustees began an outreach effort to the Akwesasne community to apprise of the Trust developments and move the process forward to identify community priorities and projects that are permissible within the terms of the Trust. This occurred via community information sessions, attendance at community events by Trustees, an on-line survey, and meetings with the MCA Leadership and Trust Overseers, along with the distribution of a comprehensive Community Newsletter. Based on these activities; the

Top 3 Community Priorities areas were as follows:

  1. Housing;
  2. Promotion and preservation of the language and cultural heritage; and
  3. Promotion and support of health, safety and well-being of members.

The Trustees underwent a rigorous evaluation process based on specific criteria including completeness of application, fit with Community priorities, Community benefit, adequacy of budget, adequacy of project team, adequacy of project plan, and project timeline.

While the Trustees wished they could have funded all 38 of the projects proposed, with the funds available for 2016 ($1,359,000) the Trustees were able to fund the following 14 projects and initiatives:

Project Name

Priority Area(s)

Allocation

HAVFD Station #2 – Replacement of 20-year old Engine Tanker

3

$345,000

MCA Housing septic and air quality fund and emergency renovation fund

1

$250,000

MCA Heating assistance program

1, 3

$220,000

Akwesasne Freedom School’s Language Nest – Owiraneha Tsi Kanonsohte (our baby house) and Tsi Niiohahoten (following our path)

2

$85,000

MCA Akwesasne Mohawk ambulance – Rapid Response Vehicle

3

$85,000

Thompson Island Youth and Elders Camp – Longhouse-style solarized bunkhouse

2

$55,650

Kawehnoke Recreation Centre – Cultural Education One Class at a Time

2, 3

$50,000

ONKWE – Seeds for the Future program (traditional cultural practices)

2

$47,171

A’nowarakowa Arena – Grounds development

3

$36,189

Akwesasne Kahwa:tsire Genealogy and Historical Society – Cultural development and assistance in family trees

2

$30,000

Snye Recreation Centre – Gymnasium floor

3

$30,000

Easterbrook-Kawehnoke settlement monument

2

$25,000

Trustee scholarship program for courses of study related to community priorities

1, 2, 3

$25,000

Tri-District Elders revitalization initiative – equipment and supplies

3

$10,000

MCA project contract administration fee

 

$65,000

 

MCA has agreed to coordinate the project funding agreements with the successful applicants and distribute the funding.

In closing, we thank the community for participating in this year’s pilot process.  We have indeed learned many good lessons that will guide how we can improve the process going forward.  We appreciate any additional suggestions you may offer as well.

Sincerely, your Trustees

Patty, Dwight, Dawn, Leah, Kuy and Gail