The Mohawk First Nation is part of the Iroquois Confederacy, also known as the Six Nations Confederacy. Iroquois in French, Six Nations in English and three Mohawk communities near Montreal named Akwesasne, Kahnawake and Kanesatake.
The Mohawks succeeded in preserving their traditions while assuming control over their education, their health and wellness services and the well being of their members and communities.
Their strength, their determination and their success are deeply rooted in their social organization, sedentary traditions and spiritual values. A spirituality where each creature, whether animate or inanimate possess a spiritual essence.
Our belief system embraces the traditional as well as spiritual teachings that have been passed down from our ancestors through each generation and is based upon the natural world.
To prepetuate the continuation of life, we participate in ceremonies throughout the year, during which we give thanks to each other, all living things in the natural and spiritual world, and to the Creator.
Also present is the Longhouse combines and reinterprets elements of traditional Iroquois religious beliefs with elements adopted from Christianity, Mohawk religion also stresses the sacred relationship among human beings, animals, and the rest of creation.
Akwesasne overlaps New York, Quebec and Ontario where the Mohawk communities organized their local education, their health and justice services, their recreation activities and their training and where they built their social infrastructures.
The mission statement of the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne is "With a good mind it is our responsibility to protect and exercise our inherent rights while creating sustainable partnerships and building a strong community for future generations".
Akwesasne is home to a rather large number of popular attractions such as an Annual Pow-Wow, a Music Festival, a Winter Carnival and Outdoor Concerts along with an Adult Education Centre, a Casino, a Cultural Centre and an International Mohawk Raceway located in the state of New York.
The Office of the Council of Chiefs (OCC) provides support services to the Mohawk Council of Kahnawá:ke Chiefs. Those services include negotiators, advisors, technicians and support staff.
The OCC first started as the Advisory Unit in 1999 and was formerly known as the Intergovernmental Relations Team. There are about 25 staff working with the OCC, who provide support for Council's initiatives in the area of politics and governance.
The OCC receives its primary direction from the whole of Council (made up of 12 Chiefs) during Council meetings and, if required, receives clarifications on Council's direction from the Office of the Grand Chief (which is maintained separately).
OCC employs technicians and negotiators for projects the MCK is working on, such as the Seigneury of Sault St. Louis and the Quebec/Kahnawá:ke Relations files.
One of the biggest accomplishments for the OCC is the opening up of channels with all ministries of the Canadian government. The MCK no longer has to deal with just the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development or its provincial counterpart.
In Kahnawake on the south shore of the Saint Lawrence river and for several years now, the Mohawks have been in charge of most if not all their community activities.
The society has its own police force and their local schools integrate many different aspects of the Mohawk culture in their teachings.
The Mohawk Council of Kahnawá:ke is the current governing body for the Kahnawá:ke Mohawk Territory.* Chief & Council consists of twelve (12) representatives elected from and by the people. Elections were held bi-annually for many years; however, in 2006 terms were increased to three years.
The Office of the Council of Chiefs (OCC) provides support and advisory services for the Chiefs. The OCC includes technicians, negotiators, communications officers, elder/ advisors and administrative support.
Kanesatake however is confronted with territorial problems. The lands acquired by the Federal Government for the benefits of the Mohawks have, up to the present day, never been transferred to their community.
A difficult situation that once resulted in the Oka Crisis also called the Mohawk Resistance. The issue of who holds title of the land is, unfortunately, still unresolved
While working to strengthen their culture and language, the people of Kahnawake have generally not had the political turmoil of the nearby, smaller Kanesatake reserve. In support of Kanesatake during its Oka Crisis in 1990, people from Kahnawake blocked the Honoré
The Abenakis, Anishinaabes, Atikamekw, Crees, Hurons-Wendats, Innu, Maliseets, Mi'kmaq, Mowhawks, Naskapis 10 First Nations and the Inuit in Inuit Nunangat.
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