On Friday, February 22 in Kana:takon, events took place that have caused concern for the safety and well-being of community members. While we continue to respect every individual’s right to peacefully demonstrate, we cannot condone aggressive behaviour, or acts of vandalism. The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne’s top priority is the safety of our community members and the well-being of Akwesasne as a whole. We ask that all Akwesasronon embrace ska’nikónri:io and use good minds as we work through these challenging and changing times.

The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne approached the forecasted legalization of cannabis by initiating the development phase of a regulatory framework for the cannabis industry in Akwesasne. While we remain confident a regulatory system that our community and all stakeholders can embrace will be established, we continue to face unique challenges throughout its development.

Under the existing Canadian law, each province is responsible for the licensing of the retail sale of cannabis, while the federal government is responsible for the licensing of growers. There are no provincially licensed sellers of cannabis in our community.

The development of our regulatory framework will take place under Akwesasne authority, and any licensed sellers in Akwesasne will be licensed by Akwesasne, and not by a province of Canada. Going forward, one of the priority requirements of our community regulatory system will be to obtain a safe, credible, and reputable supply of cannabis for our retail stores. The Mohawk Council is working to find a solution to this challenge, without compromising community integrity, or entering into any provincial system to do so.

The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne will continue working with community members to find solutions that will benefit, and not cause harm to, the community of Akwesasne.