The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne kicked off the second year of their term this month by gathering for a 2-day retreat at the Strathmere Inn in Ottawa.

The full 13-person Council attended for two days of discussions, planning, and prioritizing, with a mix of laughter, games and communication thrown into the mix.

Mohawk Government Support Manager Chelsea Francis facilitated the event and lead the chiefs through the various ice-breakers and planning sessions.

Priorities for the retreat included a review of the Council Strategic Plan and priorities, discussion on the roles and responsibilities of Council and staff, and what they expect or need from one another.

Council’s new strategic plan and goals continue to align with four main pillars/priorities:

1. Self-determination
2. Modernization
3. Sustainability
4. Well-being

The Council Strategic Plan includes 14 goals with plans or initiatives laid out for how to carry out and achieve each goal.

During the retreat, Council had the opportunity to discuss how they can reach their goals at the political level and how they will meet the goals set by the administrative side of the organization.

The retreat also allowed chiefs to discuss their portfolios (areas of focus) and some changes were made that will be shared with the community once they’re finalized.

“It brought the good minds back together,” said Tsi Snaihne District Chief Joe Lazore of the retreat, making reference to the traditional opening address that calls for good minds to come together at any gathering.

Newly elected Kawehno:ke District Chief Vanessa Adams, who was sworn in on June 13, 2019 following a by-election, said she appreciated the ice breaker events and the opportunity to get to know her fellow chiefs.

“Communication wise, it was a very good event for us,” she said.