MCA Breaks Ground On New Tsi Snaihne Walking Trail

Mohawk Council Chiefs, staff and work crews held an official ground-breaking ceremony for a new walking trail at the Tsi Snaihne Recreation Centre. 

Chiefs and staff celebrating the teamwork that has helped make the dream of a walking trail a reality.  
Clockwise: Special Projects Officer and Trails Project Lead Tracy Sunday-Cook, Tsi Snaihne Chief Karen Loran,
Grand Chief Abram Benedict, Tsi Snaihne District Chief April Adams-Phillips and Kawehno:ke Chief Troy Thompson.

Seskehko:wa/September 7, 2016

The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne is excited to announce that construction has officially begun on a new walking trail at the Tsi Snaihne Recreation Centre. The gravel trail is expected to be ready for its first walkers in late November.

“This project has been in the works for many years and we are so excited to see the construction finally begin,” said Kawehno:ke District Chief Troy Thompson who first worked on a trails project as a staff member and now as a chief. “The community made it clear this was something they wanted and needed, so Council made it a priority to move forward.”

A Comprehensive Community Plan was conducted recently which revealed that many community members wanted walking trails to be a priority in community development. As a result, a Trails Working Group was created and MCA began pooling different departments for partnerships. The Tsi Snaihne District Walking Trails Project was launched and with dedication and commitment for a plethora of different programs, the trail is now becoming reality.

“This is truly a collaborative project between several programs within MCA as well as external organizations,” said Project Lead Tracy Sunday-Cook. “This project really proves how much we can do when we work together.”

The current trails project has had involvement from MCA’s Department of Tehotiiennawakon, Economic Development, Environment, Department of Technical Services, Community Support, Department of Health, Traditional Medicines, Community Health, Housing, Roads, and the Communications Unit. The Akwesasne Area Management Board is also a partner and has sponsored workers to help build the trail.

As the project continues, even more programs and groups will be encouraged to join to assist in beautifying the trail with flowers, gardens, benches and other park décor.

"The residents of Tsi Snaihne have been especially vocal in telling us how much they needed a place close by to exercise," said Tsi Snaihne Chief April Adams-Phillips who was heavily involved in pursuing the trail.  "We realize how isolating the district can feel from other areas of the community.  It's our long term goal to have walking trails in all districts, but we are excited that the district of Tsi Snaihne will have a safe place to walk in just a few months."

Later phases of the trail include plans to connect it to the Hemlock Street housing development where it can be accessed by many families as well as residents of the Iakhihsohtha Home for the Elderly and students at Tsi Snaihne School and the Iohahi:io Adult Education Facility. Phase 1, now underway, focuses on the main trail itself, which loops around the perimeter of the Tsi Snaihne Recreation Centre’s back yard.

Grand Chief Abram Benedict noted, “Council is proud to see such positive projects develop using the resources of our own departments and programs. We are proud as well that our community identified this as a priority, placing health and wellness first, for all ages.”