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Grand Chief statement to community re: Quebec/Kahnawà:ke Relations

11/03/2010

In light of an article appearing in the Montreal Gazette on Saturday, 30 Kenténha/October, the Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke (MCK) would like to update the community on recent developments regarding its relationship with Quebec. The following is a statement from Grand Chief Michael Ahríhrhon Delisle, Jr:

“It comes as a great disappointment that the spokesperson for Quebec Native Affairs Minister Pierre Corbeil has chosen, for all intents and purposes, to deny that there is an interest by the province to discuss gaming issues with Kahnawà:ke.

As Kahnawà:ke has successfully regulated gaming for the past decade – on-line gaming in particular – there should be no shame for Quebec to meet with us, particularly in light of our worldwide recognition as industry leaders. I can most assuredly confirm to the community that the MCK has recently met with Quebec officials on this matter on two separate occasions.

Quebec and Kahnawà:ke had progressed to the point where both sides clearly agreed to establish a formal mechanism in regard to gaming issues – or so we thought. Of note, an October 25th meeting specific to online gaming regulatory issues was abruptly cancelled by Quebec with no explanation.

We have tried our best to work together to resolve our differences and perhaps move towards joint projects that would benefit both Quebec and Kahnawà:ke.

In light of the recent lack of movement on this and other Quebec-related files, we are disturbed that comments coming from provincial ministers lead us to the conclusion that Quebec no longer has the political will to come to any good resolutions to our issues. This trend represents a new low in our relationship.

Premier Jean Charest is being put on notice that we are gravely concerned and extremely unsatisfied with the state of the relationship – the state of affairs is completely unacceptable. Mr. Charest needs to live up to the commitment he made in June 2009. We expect nothing less.”

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