The Mohawk First Nation is part of the powerful Iroquois Confederacy, also known as the Six Nations Confederacy. Iroquois in French, Six Nations in English and three Mohawk communities near Montreal, Akwesasne, Kahnawake and Kanesatake. The Mohawks were fierce warriors who fought wars with the other eastern tribes.
The Mohawk First Nation succeeded in preserving their traditions while assuming control over their education, health and mental wellness and over the well being of their members and communities.
The strength, the determination and the success of the Mohawks are deeply rooted in their social organization, sedentary traditions and spiritual values. Inherited values from one generation to the other and principles inspired by their sacred relationship with human beings and with animals, with plants and with the rest of the creation.
The Mohawk were hunting, fishing, farming and trading people who traveled extensively in their elm bark canoes on what is now called upstate New York, Southern Quebec and Eastern Ontario.
With a U.S. international border running through its territory and with Quebec and Ontario within its Canadian side, the geography of the Akwesasne Mohawk Nation territory is rather unique.
International boundaries that mark the space over which the U.S. federal government has authority and internal boundaries that mark those of the Quebec and Ontario provinces.
A Mohawk Council of Akwesasne and a mission statement that includes "(...) creating sustainable partnerships and building a strong community for future generations" along with an environment program that "strives to better understand, protect, maintain, and enhance the natural environment of Akwesasne".
Akwesasne is home to a rather large number of popular attractions such as an Annual Pow-Wow, a Music Festival, a Winter Carnival, Outdoor Concerts as well as an Adult Education Center, a Casino, a Cultural Center and an International Mohawk Raceway located in the state of New York.
The Office of the Council of Chiefs, the OCC provides support and services to the Chiefs of the Kahnawá:ke Mohawk Council. A team of negotiators, advisors and technicians and services related to politics and governance.
An OCC that succeeded in creating relations with ministries of the Canadian and Quebec governments and not just with the Canadian Department of Indian Affairs and the Quebec Northern Development.
A system designed to protect and enhance the territories of the Mohawk First Nation located on the south shore of the Saint Lawrence river. A system to develop and oversee proper activities, roles, responsibilities, policies and procedures and to strengthen their culture and their language.
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 Kanesatake Interim Land Base Governance Act confirmed that land was to be reserved for the Mohawks of Kanesatake but the Act did not establish the land as a reserve and there has been no organized transfer since.
The Abenakis, Anishinaabeg, Atikamekw, Crees, Huron-Wendats, Innus, Maliseets, Mi'kmaq, Mohawks, Naskapis First Nations and, the Inuits in Inuit Nunangat, the Arctic regions of Greenland, Canada and Alaska.