MCA Receives Settlement Offer From Canada For St. Lawrence Seaway Proceedings

Tsiothohrko:wa/January 25, 2018

The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne wishes to inform the community that a settlement offer has been received by Canada for its Seaway Proceedings, filed in 1976. Canada has presented an offer of $45 million as compensation for the impacts of the construction of the Seaway in the 1950s. The settlement offer also includes the return of lands, including certain lands along the bridge corridor on Kawehno:ke.

The offer will require the completion of a settlement agreement, which is currently being finalized between MCA and the Government of Canada.  Once it has been completed, it will be presented to the community along with a referendum date and community consultation schedule.

The St. Lawrence Seaway and Power Project changed Akwesasne in many harmful and damaging ways.  In 2008, Ontario Power Generation signed a settlement agreement with Akwesasne to accept responsibility for their part in damages to the community’s lands and way of life when the hydro dam was constructed along with the Seaway.  That $46 million offer was accepted by Akwesasne through a community referendum in 2008 and was used to create the Mohawks of Akwesasne Community Settlement Trust.

Lands known as “Block 1 Lands” around the perimeter of Kawehno:ke were expropriated for the construction of the Seaway and are part of the Seaway claim/proceedings.  These lands are already set to be returned to Akwesasne via Canada’s Additions-to-Reserve process. Canada has offered to return additional lands in the bridge corridor on Kawehno:ke.

More information on the Seaway proceedings will be presented at this month’s MCA General Meeting, taking place Saturday, January 27, 2018 from 10 am to 1:30 pm at the Tsi Snaihne Recreation Centre. General Meetings are open to all MCA members, regardless of their residency. Please attend to receive vital information and to provide your input.