For Immediate Release:
Seskeha/August 20, 2018
REFERENDUM CALLED FOR TSI:KARÍSTISERE/DUNDEE CLAIM SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT
TERRITORY OF AKWESASNE – The Chief Referendum Officer (Chief Electoral Officer) Leona Benedict hereby gives notice of an upcoming referendum on the Tsi:karístisere/Dundee Claim Settlement Agreement. In accordance with the terms of the Settlement Agreement, the ballot question for this referendum is:
‘As a Voter of the Mohawks of Akwesasne, do you:
- approve the terms and conditions of the Tsi:karístisere/Dundee Claim Settlement Agreement initialed by the negotiators for the Mohawks of Akwesasne and Canada, which settles and releases the Tsi:karístisere/Dundee Claim; and
- authorize and direct the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne to execute all documents and do everything necessary to give effect to the Tsi:karístisere/Dundee Claim Settlement Agreement?’
The Mohawks of Akwesasne presented the Tsi:karístisere/Dundee Land Claim to the Government of Canada in 1981 under the Specific Claims Policy. The claim was first accepted for negotiation in 1988. A revised claim was presented in 1998 and accepted for negotiation in 2002. In April 2015, the Government of Canada made a global settlement offer of $239,808,436 for a full and final settlement of the claim. The offer was based on a careful consideration of the facts, evidence, and arguments of the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne and the Government of Canada. Following the settlement offer, the parties have continued negotiations on the terms and conditions of a Final Settlement Agreement. In addition to the compensation that will be paid by the Government of Canada, the Mohawks of Akwesasne will have the opportunity to expand their reserve lands by adding up to 18,282 acres of land under Canada’s Additions to Reserve (ATR) policy. The lands will be acquired by the Mohawks of Akwesasne from willing sellers in Quebec and Ontario.
The Settlement Agreement will only be signed with the approval of the community by referendum. The referendum on the Tsi:karístisere/Dundee Claim Settlement Agreement will be conducted through referendum polling stations on Saturday, December 8, 2018 from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. at the following locations:
- District of Kawehno:ke – Kawehno:ke Recreation Center
- District of Tsi Snaihne – Tsi Snaihne Recreation Center
- District of Kana:takon – Kana:takon Recreation Center
- Southern Portion of Akwesasne – Location TBA
Unassisted Online Voting for this referendum will open on Monday, October 1, 2018 at 9:00 a.m. EST and will close on Friday, December 7, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. EST. Referendum Officers will be going Door-to-Door throughout Akwesasne to assist Eligible Referendum Voters with completing their ballots from Monday, October 1, 2018 through December, 7, 2018. Contact the Chief Referendum Officer to schedule an appointment with a Referendum Officer for assistance in Online Voting, or to make arrangements for a Mohawk Language Interpreter or Sign Language Interpreter.
Instructions for Online Voting can be obtained by contacting the Chief Referendum Officer or visiting the following website www.akwesasne.ca/referendum.
Eligibility to participate in this referendum on the Tsi:karístisere/Dundee Claim Settlement Agreement is as follows:
- Persons who at the time of voting are Members of the Mohawks of Akwesasne.
- Persons who at the time of voting have attained eighteen (18) years of age.
Members must be listed on the Referendum Voters List in order to participate in this referendum. If an individual meets the eligibility criteria to participate in the referendum and are not on the referendum voters list, those individuals need to contact the Chief Referendum Officer to have their name added to the list. The deadline to add or remove names to the Referendum Voters List is Monday, September 24, 2018 at 5:00pm. Referendum Voters Lists will be placed at the following locations:
- District of Kawehno:ke – Bank of Montreal, Jocks Convenience Store, Express Gas
- District of Tsi Snaihne – Iohahi:io Adult Education Centre, OK Den
- District of Kana:takon – Post Office, Butters Quick Stop, Village Check Cashing
- Southern Portion of Akwesasne – Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe Administration Building Lobby, Tsi Tetewatakens – Office for the Aging
The referendum on the Tsikaristisere/Dundee Claim Settlement Agreement will close on Saturday, December 8, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. EST. The results from the Online Voting period will be read on December 8, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. EST and counting of the ballots cast at the Referendum Polling Stations will commence at the St. Regis Recreation Centre. After counting has concluded the unofficial results of the referendum will be released by the Chief Referendum Officer to local media outlets and will be posted on the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne’s website and Facebook page.
For more information for the referendum on the Tsi:karístisere/Dundee Claim Settlement Agreement or for a copy of the Tsi:karístisere/Dundee Claim Settlement Agreement or referendum regulation, please contact the Chief Referendum Officer Leona Benedict by telephone at 613-575-2250 ext. 2406, by facsimile at 613-575-1726 or by email at email@example.com.
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