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Mohawk Council of Kahnawá:keTsi nahò:ten kahiatónnion a'arákonEnsaié:nawaseOnhkharéhson Aionkhihsnoé:nen
Tsi Ietsenhaientáhkhwa
Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke
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Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke

MCK Budget 2013-2014 released


The Mohawk Council of Kahnawàke (MCK) has finalized the 2013-2014 budget for the upcoming fiscal year (April-March), which totals $43,516,220. In order to ‘zero balance’ the budget and avoid a projected operating deficit of approximately $1.7 million, budget decreases in many areas were necessary. Each MCK Unit or function was asked to work with less dollars without impacting current services.

"Once again, the MCK has achieved a zero balanced budget but the task is becoming increasingly difficult," said Grand Chief Mike Ahríhron Delisle Jr. "Last year was a challenge and the efforts by all levels of the organization contributed to the effort. This year is no different in that respect. The difference this time is we have determined that we cannot continue to utilize appropriated funds to cover deficits.”

Although the MCK has reduced its projected operating deficit from $3 million down to $1.7 million on an ongoing basis, this still leaves much difficult work to be done to achieve a long-term zero balanced budget. The reductions made for the 2013-2014 annual budget were considerable and have placed a great deal of strain on operations.  A complete assessment of MCK programs and services will commence early in the new fiscal year in order to achieve a balanced budget into the foreseeable future without depleting much-needed operating reserves.

“The projected operating deficit was a staggering $1.7 million at the start of the budgeting process and an unprecedented collaborative effort was made to zero balance once again,” said Director of Financial Services Erica Delisle. “The fact that this was done without layoffs or reduction of services is astounding as this was accomplished despite no new operating revenues coming in. We were very fortunate this year but there is no way to sustain the level of services Kahnawà:ke has become accustomed to for much longer without new revenue sources or severely depleting reserves.”  

One of the most significant changes from last year’s budget is in the area of the Social Assistance Program. Another increase in social assistance recipients, speculated to be due largely to the decline in local job availabilities, is costing close to $5.58 million dollars annually, which represents an increase of $298,000 from last year.

As part of the annual Core Budget for operations, the MCK is pleased that it was still able to meet the needs of some vital community organizations - namely the Kahnawake Youth Center ($150,000), the Cultural Center ($354,000) and the Kahnawake Fire Brigade, ($300,000). Only two secondary requests were approved; $150,000 for the Kahnawake Education Center, to cover yet another shortfall (taken from Operational Reserves), and $25,000 for the Kahnawake Youth Center to replace the structure’s windows (taken from the Community Facilities Reserve).

The MCK is now entering the third year of a five-year agreement with Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, who once again sent a letter of commendation recognizing the MCK’s strong management of its financial resources.

“Although we by no means are destitute as a community, the fiscal future of our community is a serious concern. The MCK will be launching several initiatives within this fiscal year to ensure we continue to service the community while looking internally to cut costs at all levels of the organization. We are taking these measures very seriously as the outcomes will determine our collective financial future," concluded the Grand Chief.

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