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News stories tagged with "mohawks"

The shuttered Cornwall Island checkpoint
The shuttered Cornwall Island checkpoint

Canada delays Cornwall checkpoint decision

The temporary border checkpoint in Cornwall will remain in place another year. Canada had said it wanted a permanent solution by now. The port of entry was moved last year when Akwesasne Mohawks protested border officers being armed. As David Sommerstein reports, a return to the original checkpoint on Cornwall Island seems unlikely.  Go to full article

Tobacco tax halted

A state appellate court decision has put the brakes on New York's plan to collect taxes from native-owned tobacco stores. Judge Samuel Green issued a stay yesterday in Buffalo. A spokeswoman for Governor Paterson told the Buffalo News the order means the state is standing down indefinitely on collecting the tobacco taxes. She called the ruling "disappointing". The taxes would raise an estimated 200 million dollars for cash-strapped Albany. David Staddon, a spokesman for the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe near Massena, says New York's plan is a violation of tribal sovereignty. Martha Foley has more.  Go to full article
The abandoned port of entry on Cornwall Island.
The abandoned port of entry on Cornwall Island.

Border agent standoff lingers on Cornwall Island

The Canadian government announced Tuesday it will begin building a new bridge between Cornwall and Cornwall Island next spring. The lower, shorter span will open up acres of land along the St. Lawrence River. City of Cornwall and Mohawk officials applauded the project, which will cost $75 million.

We'll have more next week on what the new bridge could mean for the ex-paper mill town of Cornwall. Construction was to have begun last summer.

But a standoff between Canadian border officials and Akwesasne Mohawks delayed the project and led to the closure of the customs checkpoint on Cornwall Island. The dispute over arming border agents shut down the international bridge between Cornwall and Massena for six weeks.

Today, Canada still operates a make shift checkpoint in the city of Cornwall. Locals report delays of up to two hours. Canadian and tribal officials haven't met in months. And Mohawks on Cornwall Island say they're stuck in a netherworld between two borders. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article
The Akwesasne Warriors new logo
The Akwesasne Warriors new logo

Pro hockey expands to Akwesasne

The North Country will have a second team in a new professional hockey league debuted next winter. The Akwesasne Warriors will play at the arena known as the Turtle Dome on Cornwall Island. Martha Foley has more.  Go to full article

Mohawks lose border check-in challenge

A Canadian court has rejected a motion that Akwesasne Mohawks face hardships in reporting to the temporary customs in Cornwall. The Mohawks sought to stop border officers from forcing tribal members to cross a bridge twice to get home. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Cornwall Island dispute continues

Controversy continues as Canadian border officials and Mohawk tribal leaders struggle with an ongoing dispute over the international crossing on Cornwall Island. Martha Foley has more.  Go to full article

Mohawks prefer diplomacy in tobacco tax fight

Last year, Governor Paterson signed into law a bill that would enforce collection of state tobacco taxes when non-natives buy cigarettes at native-owned stores. Albany estimates up to 400 million dollars a year in taxes are going uncollected. But like his three predecessors, Paterson's administration said last week it will not try to collect the taxes. Remember when the Seneca Nation burned tires on the Thruway when then-Governor George Pataki tried to collect them? The whole issue is knotted up in lawsuits. New York City is suing a Long Island tribe. Two counties are suing the Cayuga Nation. The rulings could set precedents in the now cloudy case of tobacco taxes and native tribes. Jim Ransom says there's an easy solution - sit down and talk. Ransom is chief of the St. Regis Mohawk tribe in Akwesasne. The Mohawks are at odds with New York State over three issues - the cigarette taxes, land claims in St. Lawrence and Franklin counties, and building a casino in the Catskills. Ransom says one agreement can resolve them all.  Go to full article

NY Tribes Seek Off-Reservation Gaming Reversal

The St. Regis Mohawk Tribe is back into the hunt for a casino in the Catskills. Martha Foley has more.  Go to full article

Bridge deal fails

Mohawk leaders and Canadian officials came close this week to an agreement Mohawks say would have opened the international bridge near Massena. The bridge is on Cornwall Island, which is Mohawk territory. It's been closed since June 1, stopping cross border traffic between Massena and Cornwall Ontario.

Mohawks continue a peaceful protest against Canada's plan to arm guards at the border crossing there. In a press release late yesterday, Mohawk Council Grand Chief Mike Mitchell detailed how the plan would have opened the bridge provisionally, while a long-term settlement is worked out.

Under the temporary deal, unarmed border guards would work with other police agencies, including Mohawk police and possibly the RCMP. But the agreement quickly fell apart when the union representing the border guards said they will not go back to Cornwall Island, with or without guns.

According to the Watertown Daily Times, union President Ron Moran wants Canadian Minister of Public Safety Peter Van Loan, who oversees the border agency, to keep the Cornwall-Massena crossing closed until the situation is completely resolved.  Go to full article

Eight arrested in drug bust

Police arrested eight people and seized more than $1.3 million in cash this week in connection with a large drug smuggling ring operating between the North Country and Ohio. Martha Foley has more.  Go to full article

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