News Director Reen Cook brings you the latest local and regional news report live from the CKON News Center.

Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe Hosts Area Business, Government Leaders Tribal Leader Discusses Potential Settlement of Boundary Issues

Akwesasne, NY - The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe welcomed a gathering of business and government leaders from Franklin and St. Lawrence counties and the surrounding area to the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino Resort last evening for a Business After Hours event co-hosted by the Malone Chamber of Commerce.

While the focus of the evening was networking and casual conversation among those in attendance, the topic of resolution of a series of issues related to the Tribe's boundary drew much attention.

"Our surrounding counties are very important to our Tribe, as both a business and as a government," said Chief Ron LaFrance. "The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Council remains committed to a negotiated settlement that would benefit both the Mohawk people and our neighbors."

The Tribe would like to see the terms of a 2005 settlement agreement between the Tribe, New York State, Franklin County and St. Lawrence County enacted. The agreement would permit the Tribe to acquire, only from willing sellers, certain identified lands in Franklin and St. Lawrence counties and return them to the Tribe's territory. In exchange, the local communities would receive substantial benefits, which LaFrance outlined for those at last night's event.

Home Loan Program for Akwesasne Veterans

MOU Signed between Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe and Veteran’s Affairs

On Saturday, December 7, 2013, the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) securing direct home loan benefits to eligible Mohawk veterans on the Saint Regis Mohawk Reservation. Loans are now available for veterans to purchase, build or improve a home at Akwesasne, a benefit not previously available. Traveling to mark this occasion were two representatives from VA.  Mike Frueh, National Director of Loan Guaranty Programs in Washington, DC is responsible for the oversight of all loan programs for the VA.  His focus is bringing a greater understanding and use of Native American veteran’s loan products to Indian Country. Peter Vicaire is a Tribal Government Relations Specialist from the Eagan, Minnesota office. Mr. Vicaire will be our regional contact specific to any work with the Native American Direct Loan Programs.


TERRITORY OF AKWESASNE – A long-anticipated trial has commenced this week in Cornwall’s Ontario Court of Justice as two cases of Akwesasne residents being criminally charged by the Canada Border Services Agency are being challenged. These two cases were selected specifically to serve as constitutional test cases to challenge CBSA’s interpretation of the Customs Act and Immigration and Refugee Protection Act at the Cornwall Port of Entry. Both cases involve Akwesasne women who allegedly did not directly report to Canada’s Port of Entry in Cornwall, but first stopped on Kawehno:ke (Cornwall Island) to drop children off.

CKON Deliver's Mountain of Toys

CKON had a contest to win a $ 500 Visa gift card, in order to win listeners had to bring in a new toy and their name would go into a draw.

Well here is CKON's Misty Tarbell & Diane McDonald standing with the "mini" mountain of toys!! Our CKON listeners are so awesome and we will be so happy to deliver these toys to the "big" Mountain of Toys event on December 13.

Stop Canada's Proposed First Nation Education Act

Despite First Nations opposing it since October 2012, the Canadian Harper Conservative government plans on passing education legislation by September 2014.  In October 2013, they released a Proposal for a Bill on First Nation Education and a draft copy of the legislation giving approximately 75 days to respond.

First Nations are saying that the legislative approach is paternalistic and sets out more ministerial oversight over First Nations schools than currently exists. They are also saying that current underfunding of First Nation education will not be resolved by the proposed legislation.

Stand with First Nations and First Nation students. Send a message to Prime Minister Harper and Aboriginal Affairs Minister Valcourt to stop the proposed First Nation Education Act.

The more messages the Harper government receive, the more likely First Nations will have a chance to receive the same quality of education as the rest of Canada. Every letter counts.

Mohawk Code Talkers Honored in Washington, DC

Thirty-three Native American tribes were recognized at a ceremony honoring Native American Code Talkers for service to the United States Armed Forces during World War I and World War II. Twenty-five tribes accepted Congressional Gold Medals. Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe Sub-Chief Michael Conners accepted a certificate on behalf of Akwesashró:non in Washington, DC on November 20, 2013. The ceremony was held in Emancipation Hall in the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center.

Code Talkers were relied upon by the military to quickly transmit messages during wartime using their native languages. The “code” was never broken by the enemy. Sub-Chief Conners was moved by the honored men in attendance as he accepted a certificate on behalf of our Tribe. Senators and members of Congress spoke throughout the ceremony, sharing stories about individual Code Talkers.

Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe Represented at Tribal Nations Conference 2013 || Chief Beverly Cook Invited to the White House

Akwesasne –  The White House hosted Tribal Leaders at the 2013 White House Tribal Nations Conference in Washington, DC on November 13, 2013. Chief Beverly Cook represented the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe at an event leading to President Obama committing to visit Indian Country next year. The President recognized the “unique legal and political relationship, one that’s been affirmed many times in treaties, in statutes and in the Constitution”. In the President’s opening statement, he acknowledged members of the Iroquois Nation remarking, “We could learn from the Iroquois Confederacy, just as our Founding Fathers did when they laid the groundwork for our democracy.”

Chief Beverly Cook shared her sentiments, “It was a powerful sight to see so many Tribal Nations and governments represented at the Conference.  Their concerns reflected the challenges we all face dealing with the complexities of our community relationships and responsibilities.  Providing for the needs of our people in terms of health, safety of our women and children, environmental justice and economic development were only a few of the issues at the top of everyone’s list for discussion and happily they were echoed by the President in his address.”