MCA And Canada Complete Negotiations On The Settlement Of The St. Lawrence Seaway

The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne passed a resolution on June 11, 2018 approving the final draft of the proposed Seaway Claim Settlement Agreement that will be sent to the community for approval.


“Over the past two and half years, Council has devoted substantial resources to resolve this 42 year-old grievance. The MCA negotiating team should be commended for their efforts to reach a settlement with representatives of Canada,” said Grand Chief Abram Benedict. “The proposed settlement will be the subject of in-depth community education. Once that is complete, the MCA will hold a referendum to determine whether or not the community approves the agreement.”


In January, Canada presented a settlement offer of $45 million as compensation for the impacts of the construction of the Seaway in the 1950s, in addition to the return of lands that were expropriated for the construction of the Seaway. Lands around the perimeter of Kawehno:ke, known as the “Block 1 Lands,” were already set to be returned to Akwesasne through the Additions-to-Reserve process. The MCA and Canada have now reached agreement on the return additional lands in the bridge corridor on Kawehno:ke.


The construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway and Power Project caused extensive and substantial harm to Akwesasne. Ontario Power Generation accepted responsibility for damage to the community’s lands and way of life when the hydro dam was constructed. A settlement of grievances against OPG was approved by the Mohawks of Akwesasne in a referendum held in 2008. The agreement was signed later that year. Compensation of $46 million was used to create the Mohawks of Akwesasne Community Settlement Trust.


According to Grand Chief Abram Benedict: “With the completion of negotiations with Canada, Akwesasne is close to a resolution of an historical grievance that will help our community to heal and move forward.”


The next step for the MCA is in-depth community education and engagement, followed by a referendum vote later in 2018.


If you have any questions or comments, please contact Mohawk Government Offices at 613-575-2348.