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MCK reiterates position on Membership Law

09/04/2014

The Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke (MCK) is advising the community that it reiterates its support for the Kahnawà:ke Membership Law in light of recent events regarding non-eligible, non-Indigenous individuals residing on the Territory in clear contravention of the law.

Chief & Council have issued an Open Letter to community members to clarify the MCK’s position on the matter. Another separate Open Letter is intended for the aforementioned non-eligible persons. Both are available for viewing at www.kahnawake.com. Additionally, the MCK will have the Open Letters published in the Kahnawà:ke newspapers.

The MCK had earlier informed the community that it was preparing a plan of action to help alleviate some of the difficulties that surfaced in the aftermath of a series of community-organized meetings held on this topic in recent weeks. The creation of a formal engagement strategy will begin at the Community Meeting scheduled for Tuesday, September 16th. Other than land allotments, Membership will be the only topic on the agenda.

In the meantime it was felt that the community should be reminded of the origins and history of the 2003 Kahnawà:ke Membership Law, the 1984 Mohawk Law on Membership and 1981 Moratorium on Mixed Marriages. As such, a pamphlet that was prepared for the current amendment process for the 2003 Kahnawà:ke Membership Law is now available for viewing at www.kahnawake.com.  Copies are also available at the MCK offices and at the Social Development Unit located at the Services Complex.

Additionally, a random survey of 360 Kahnawa’kehró:non conducted in 2011 is also being made available at www.kahnawake.com for the purposes of illustrating community sentiment on the topic of Membership. In response to the question, “Should the Kahnawà:ke Membership Law allow all non-Natives married to a Member to live in Kahnawà:ke?” 263 respondents (78%) totally or somewhat disagreed, with 76 respondents (22%) agreeing, somewhat agreeing, or totally agreeing. 21 people did not offer a response to this particular question.

“While the laws have changed over the years, the community has been remarkably consistent in its support of the residency requirements,” said Grand Chief Michael Ahríhron Delisle, Jr. “Chief & Council are obligated to uphold Kahnawà:ke laws, while always being mindful that there will always be those who aren’t in favor of the law and that we must listen to their concerns and suggestions. We ask that everyone remain peaceful and respectful during this emotional time.”

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