The Mohawk Nation at Kahnawà:ke is deeply concerned with the escalating situation at our sister community of Akwesasne. For some time, the Mohawk people of Akwesasne have voiced their opposition to plans by Canada Border Services Agency to arm their officers at the Kawehnó:ke Port of Entry (Cornwall Island).
The Mohawk Nation at Kahnawà:ke believes that such an irresponsible and insensitive act may provoke a violent confrontation. This act is also viewed as a violation of our national sovereignty as the port is situated within the Mohawk Territory of Akwesasne. The Kawehnó:ke Port of Entry has remained a point of contention amongst our people since its imposed construction, as CBSA officers continuously and consistently abuse our citizens by refusing to recognize them as a distinct and sovereign people within their own territory. Having these officers armed may further agitate the situation and could lead to a loss of life.
Leadership from the Mohawk Nation has endeavored on numerous occasions to resolve this issue by attempting to engage in peaceful dialogue with Canadian officials. Unfortunately, Canada’s Public Security Minister and CBSA officials have ignored the legitimate concerns of our people and uphold their unilateral decision to arm guards at the Kawehnó:ke Port of Entry.
The Mohawk Nation at Kahnawà:ke supports our brothers and sisters at Akwesasne and stand beside them in their struggle to ensure their safety and security.
Lest we forget when Canadian Dominion Police shot and killed Saiowisaké:ron (Jake Ice) on May 1, 1899 who opposed the imposition of Canada’s assimilative policies in Akwesasne. We will not forget this tragedy, nor will we tolerate another opportunity for Canada to employ violence against our people. Likewise, the Mohawk Nation at Kahnawà:ke shall hold the government of Canada responsible for any violence that occurs in Akwesasne.
In peace and friendship,
Atsenhaién:ton Kenneth Deer
Secretary – Kahnawà:ke Branch
Six Nation Iroquois Confederacy