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

Kahnawake Family Homes Law not approved by Valcourt


The Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke (MCK) wishes to inform Kahnawa’kehró:non that Canada, has not accepted the community’s recently passed Kahnawà:ke Family Homes and Matrimonial Interests Law. In a letter from the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs & Northern Development Canada Bernard Valcourt, a portion of the letter states that:

“It has come to my attention that your proposed law has not been approved in accordance with the Family Homes on Reserves and Matrimonial Interests or Rights Act or under the authority on the First Nations Land Management Act. Our records also indicate your First Nation is not operating under a negotiated self-government agreement with Canada that includes First Nation jurisdiction over reserve land. Therefore, as the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, I am not able under section 11(6) of the Act to list the name of your First Nation on the Department’s website as having a community-specific matrimonial real property law in force under the Act.”

“Although we weren’t asking for approval, we were expecting acknowledgement of our law,” said Chief Lloyd Phillips who, along with Chief Clinton Phillips, has steered Kahnawà:ke’s law through the Community Decision Making Process (CDMP). “While we are disappointed by the letter, we can’t say we’re surprised, based on his other recent actions and comments.”

“We’ll study our options before responding formally,” he concluded. “We expected political maneuvering from Canada on this issue. So we’ve got some work to do but we’ve never been afraid of hard work.”

The Kahnawà:ke Family Homes and Matrimonial Interests Law officially came into force on 8 Tsothóhrha/December 2014 when Mohawk Council Resolution #2 / 2014-2015 was passed unanimously by Chief & Council after receiving community approval at the CDMP hearing on 4, Seskehkó:wa/September 2014.

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