Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe
The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Referendum to change the tribe’s name has been rescheduled for a vote by tribal members on Saturday, Ohiarí:ha/June 4, 2022. Eligible tribal voters will have the opportunity to approve or reject a proposed name change of the “Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe” to the “Akwesasne Mohawk Tribe”.
Pursuant to Tribal Council Resolution 2022-16 signed by Tribal Council during their biweekly work session on Wednesday, March 30th; the referendum has been scheduled once more and tribal members will be presented with the following question on June 4th: “Do you support the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe changing its name to the Akwesasne Mohawk Tribe?” Yes or No.
What began nearly 20 years ago with the formal renaming of the zip code 13655 from “Hogansburg, New York” to “Akwesasne, New York” is a renewed effort to have a new name approved by tribal members that better reflects the community’s pride in the rich historical, cultural, and diverse landscape of Akwesasne that has existed since time immemorial.
At the May 2019 and August 2019 Monthly Tribal Meetings presentations were provided on “Saint Regis” and “Akwesasne.” In addition to the informative and historical presentations, two articles by Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Historical Preservation Director Darren Bonaparte were published in the Indian Time Newspaper, titled “Is it Time to Change the Name of the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe?” and “The Kanienkeha name of Akwesasne in the Early Historical Record.”
The Tribal Council followed the presentations with two opinion polls to determine support for a name change and for suggestions for a new name. The first poll was conducted in September 2019 and received 549 votes. 61 percent of community members who responded supported an initiative to formally change the name. 15 unique names were suggested and the top names were shared with community members in a second opinion poll in December 2019. The top suggestion was “Akwesasne Mohawk Tribe.”
The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Council is the duly elected and federally recognized government of the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe.