For Immediate Release

Kentenhko:wa/November 6, 2023


The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne is pleased to announce that Leslie Papineau is the new director of the Dept. of Infrastructure, Housing & Environment (DIHE). Ms. Papineau has been acting in the role since 2021.

“We are pleased that Leslie will be able to continue advancing the department’s many priorities and projects,” said Grand Chief Abram Benedict.  “This department is vast and her knowledge and experience will be an asset to ensuring work continues to meet the needs of the community and MCA organization.”

Ms. Papineau previously served as the department’s Technical Project Manager from 2016-2021 before taking on the acting director role 2 ½ years ago.  She has worked for the department on and off for many years, having started as a summer student.  “During my journey with the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne, I was able to have the opportunity of working alongside the late Jay Benedict, who was the Director of the Dept. of Technical Services for many years before amalgamating into DIHE. He was a great mentor with incredible insight and knowledge who helped teach and guide my professional development and work experiences within the department. “

Ms. Papineau has also worked in Montreal, Ottawa & Cornwall for architectural and engineering firms under a team umbrella.

“By working alongside senior principals, gaining various experiences in the technical architectural / engineering field and being at the forefront of projects and project leads, has prepared me to be able to strategize, implement and execute planning initiatives, and to oversee the development of projects, and provide project management from the beginning planning stage to construction completion,” Papineau said. “These valued experiences have helped to foster my foundation for this position.”

Ms. Papineau’s qualifications include a Master of Architecture degree, a Bachelor of Architectural Studies, and a graduate diploma in Interior Design.  She is a Professional Licensed Architect with the Ontario Association of Architects.

Succession planning and mentoring of young individuals for career growth are values she proudly possesses.

The DIHE has many projects underway and needs for the future.  Ms. Papineau is eager to tackle many infrastructure and building upgrades, and to prepare services needed for a growing Akwesasne community.

“This includes road improvements, housing development and site services, upgrades to our existing community facilities and providing new buildings based on space needs, and to upgrade our water and wastewater plant operations and services,” she said.  “There is also a need for expansion of new roadways and site services to accommodate new housing subdivisions, a water tower, new plants, etc. The department will need to strategize planning initiatives with the capital plan and seek funding moving forward.”

Ms. Papineau also noted that there are much larger development topics and initiatives needed that should be further discussed as well, including Quebec Hydro’s improvement for electricity services, expanding the supply, extending the grid, and making new connections.

Please join us in welcoming Leslie Papineau to her new position!