The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne has been working closely with local funeral service providers in both Ontario and New York State to ensure that family members can appropriately and safely celebrate the lives of loved ones that pass away during these unprecedented times.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, funeral service providers, while still being respectful of Akwesasne’s culture and customs, MUST follow restrictions established for funerals, wakes, services and burials set forth by New York State, the CDC and Canada Health agencies.

Although the restrictions are a significant change from what Akwesasronon are accustomed to, we need to follow these guidelines. This temporary change is difficult, but must be followed for the health and safety of all.

For the time being, church services are limited to eight (8) people; outside burials are limited to ten (10) people. These services are for immediate family members only (mother, father, sister, brother, grandmother, grandfather). Please ensure that all individuals attending continue to practice social distancing (approximately six feet apart).

Some funeral service providers are looking at alternate ways to offer our condolences, such as virtual visitations and streaming of cemetery services. This service can only be provided if internet service is available, and also if individuals are enrolled in an electronic guest registry program.

We must respect these rules and support grieving families in other ways with telephone calls or social media messages. Our local funeral homes are working hard to provide these services to our community, but everyone’s safety must be considered. We also send our heartfelt condolences to anyone that loses a loved one during this difficult time.

Let’s all do our part for the health and safety of Akwesasne.