MINISTER OF INDIGENOUS SERVICES PATTY HAJDU MAKES FIRST VISIT TO AKWESASNE
The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne welcomed Canada’s Minister of Indigenous Services, Patty Hajdu, to the community on Wednesday, July 14, 2022, at the Kawehno:ke Recreation Centre. The Honourable Patty Hajdu was appointed to lead the Ministry of Indigenous Services in December 2021.
Members of Council presented Minister Hajdu with an introduction to issues related to services and Indigenous rights. Concerns shared and discussed included the history of expropriation of Akwesasne lands and need to prevent it in the future, the (lack of) recognition of the Jay Treaty, the complications of retaining medical doctors due to jurisdictional and licensing factors, the Quebec language barrier, the negative impact of the Seaway International Bridge tolls, and the border crossing complications overall. Grand Chief Abram Benedict acknowledged that the CBSA and health exceptions made for Akwesasne during the pandemic to accommodate our community member’s daily travel and day-to-day business was appreciated and is an example of Akwesasne-specific needs we require collaboration on.
Elders from the community were also invited to attend the meeting with Minister Hajdu and to share their own questions or concerns. A meal was served to all.
MCA thanks Minister Hajdu for visiting Akwesasne and we look forward to additional opportunities to share Akwesasne’s specific circumstances and needs.