On April 4th, 2022, the OSC issued a press release providing an update on the Oversight Committee on Legislative Development and the Working Tasks Groups (WTG) that work on the development of three Akwesasne laws, namely: Cannabis Law, Emergency Management Law, and the Akwesasne Election Law Amendments. 


The Cannabis Law has recently had its legal review completed. In accordance with the LEPR, once the legal review has concluded, a line-by-line review will be conducted with Council; this is anticipated for early July. Phase II – Council may accept the draft law “in principle,” moving the law to Phase III Community Consultation/Engagement. We hope to schedule the three community engagement sessions by the end of July or early August. The draft law will then be printed and distributed to community mailboxes. Please note that notices will be provided of the session dates with times and locations. Please monitor social media and Indian Time for updates.


The Emergency Management Law is now in its legal review; once completed, the WTG will reconvene to continue their work. 


The Akwesasne Election Law Amendments WTG has been working on certain sections of the law, namely: composition of Council, candidate eligibility criteria, and term of office. This work has been completed and has been moved to the Oversight Committee to formally request the legal review. 


Prioritizing Legislative Development: The OSC has a mandate to develop three laws annually; a new law, a law in draft form, and a law to be amended. A survey to obtain opinions from the Community, Organization (MCA Directors), and Government on what laws to prioritize for the Fiscal Year 2022/2023 was shared for the period of April 19th – May 9th, 2022. 


The Mohawk Council has approved MCR 2022/2023 – #069 for the legislative priorities based on the survey results which are as follows:


New Law — Child’s Rights Law
Law in Draft — Fire Code/Law
Law to be Amended — Residency Law


Updated on the law development process will continue to be provided. 


For further information, please contact the Akwesasne Justice Department’s Justice Coordinator at connie.lazore@akwesasne.ca