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News stories tagged with "mohawks"

St. Regis Mohawk chiefs Ron LaFrance, Beverly Cook, and sub-chief Eric Thompson are hoping to build support for the land claim settlement among tribal members. Photo: David Sommerstein.
St. Regis Mohawk chiefs Ron LaFrance, Beverly Cook, and sub-chief Eric Thompson are hoping to build support for the land claim settlement among tribal members. Photo: David Sommerstein.

Mohawk chiefs: "The most important thing is our land"

Mohawks in Akwesasne are trying to absorb the terms of a deal to end their historic land claim.

Last week, tribal chiefs signed a framework agreement with New York State and St. Lawrence County. It would allow the Mohawks to buy almost 5,000 acres of land and add the parcels to the reservation. In return, the Mohawks will pay a share of their casino revenue to New York. And St. Lawrence County and the towns of Massena and Brasher will share a payment of $4 million a year.

Talks are ongoing with Franklin County, where several thousand more acres are part of the 32-year-old land claim lawsuit.

The proposed settlement is huge news in Akwesasne. And it's very controversial. David Sommerstein and Martha Foley sort out why.  Go to full article
Governor Cuomo with county and tribal leaders signing the land claim MOU Wednesday in Albany. Photo provided by St. Regis Mohawk Tribe
Governor Cuomo with county and tribal leaders signing the land claim MOU Wednesday in Albany. Photo provided by St. Regis Mohawk Tribe

Mohawks, St. Lawrence Co. reach deal on land claim

Wednesday in Albany, tribal chiefs and St. Lawrence County officials joined Gov. Andrew Cuomo to sign a memorandum of understanding to resolve the more than three-decades old Mohawk land claim lawsuit.

The deal would allow Mohawks to buy up to 4,800 acres of land from willing sellers in northern St. Lawrence County and add it to the Akwesasne reservation.

St. Lawrence County would get a compensation package of $2.5 million from New York State, $1.5 million from the tribe, and then $4 million annually in perpetuity.  Go to full article
The new, low-level bridge going up last summer underneath the old span to Cornwall. Photo: Mohawk Council of Akwesasne  Communications.
The new, low-level bridge going up last summer underneath the old span to Cornwall. Photo: Mohawk Council of Akwesasne Communications.

New Cornwall bridge opens, but it still feels closed to Mohawks

Friday at 7am, Canada opens a new bridge across the St. Lawrence River to Cornwall. Officials said the $75 million project will speed up travel and contribute to economic growth.

The port-of-entry into Canada has been plagued by long wait times since it was moved off Cornwall Island four years ago.

But Akwesasne Mohawks say the new bridge won't make traffic move faster. And they say the new bridge won't do anything to ease travel between Mohawk communities divided by the international border. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article
St. Regis Mohawk tribal chiefs and North Country leaders with Governor Cuomo Tuesday in Albany.
St. Regis Mohawk tribal chiefs and North Country leaders with Governor Cuomo Tuesday in Albany.

Mohawks ink gaming exclusivity deal for North Country

Fresh off a deal with the Oneida Nation, Governor Cuomo stood with chiefs of the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe this afternoon to announced a deal to resolve gaming issues that affect the North Country.  Go to full article
Louis Cook (2nd row, center) with NCPR staff in the late 1980s.
Louis Cook (2nd row, center) with NCPR staff in the late 1980s.

NCPR jazz host and producer Louis Cook dies

A prominent voice from the early days of North Country Public Radio has died. Louis T.K. Cook, of Akwesasne, was the late night host of "Jazz Waves" in the 1980s and early 1990s.

Cook also educated listeners - and producers at this radio station - about native political and cultural issues with his series, "You Are On Indian Land". Cook is remembered here at the station as full of life and was known as a wild guy.

His cousin, Ray Cook, who is now Op/Ed editor at Indian Country Today Media Network, says he owes his career in media to Louie Cook. He describes Cook as a natural teacher. "He was an artist in the traditional form," says Ray Cook. "He believed in the power of music and how it can soothe the soul and he always treasured the stories that he recorded and the people he talked to when he was in the production mode."

Louis T.K. Cook died Monday from injuries he suffered in a car crash last week on the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota. He had been working with a not-for-profit there that helps families on the reservation build and maintain gardens.  Go to full article
Casino gaming sites in New York. Photo: NY Governor's Office
Casino gaming sites in New York. Photo: NY Governor's Office

Cuomo details upstate NY casino plans

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, joined by union and business leaders, and representatives from county governments, offered more details of a plan to build three new gambling casinos.
The governor says he wants to limit the locations to upstate regions for now, to prop up the failing economy. He says upstate needs jobs like it needs "oxygen". And he says having a downstate location would devalue the upstate centers.  Go to full article
Part of the 7.2 mile contaminated stretch of the Grasse. Photo: David Sommerstein.
Part of the 7.2 mile contaminated stretch of the Grasse. Photo: David Sommerstein.

Alcoa, Reynolds to pay $20M to clean up St. Lawrence

Alcoa and Reynolds Metals will pay almost $20 million to restore habitat and wildlife on the St. Lawrence River near Massena. The settlement ends a more than 20-year-old lawsuit spearheaded by the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe.  Go to full article
A family at last Saturday's Idle No More march over the Cornwall bridge.  Photo by David Sommerstein.
A family at last Saturday's Idle No More march over the Cornwall bridge. Photo by David Sommerstein.

Big expectations for "Idle No More" meeting in Canada

First Nations chiefs are meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Ottawa today. The meeting is a response to months of protests by a grassroots aboriginal group called Idle No More.

The group is demanding the government address issues such as poverty, land claims, and profits from natural resources.

As Karen Kelly reports from Ottawa, it may be difficult for today's meeting to soothe decades of discontent.  Go to full article
Mohawks on Cornwall Island waited to march in support of the Idle No More movement...  Photo: David Sommerstein.
Mohawks on Cornwall Island waited to march in support of the Idle No More movement... Photo: David Sommerstein.

Mohawks march for indigenous solidarity

Akwesasne Mohawks sent the Canadian government a message of native unity on Saturday. Hundreds of people marched across the two bridges from Massena, NY, to Cornwall, Ontario. Several tribal chiefs were among the marchers.

The demonstration was part of a movement called "Idle No More" that's swept across Canada. It protests legislation that many First Nation people say threatens their land and water.

The protest closed the border crossing for several hours. Despite a history of clashes with border officials, the march was a peaceful, family affair, full of drumming and singing.  Go to full article
Part of the 7.2 mi. contaminated stretch of the Grasse.  Photo by David Sommerstein.
Part of the 7.2 mi. contaminated stretch of the Grasse. Photo by David Sommerstein.

Mohawks seek better Grasse cleanup

The St. Regis Mohawks say the federal government's plan to clean up toxic chemicals from the Grasse River has improved, but it's still not good enough. The Alcoa aluminum plant in Massena dumped cancer-causing PCBs into the river before they were banned in the 1970s.  Go to full article

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