KAHNAWAKE, QC and OHIARIHKÓ:WA, ON, July 15 2016 /CNW/ - The Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke wishes to inform the community that a letter has been sent to the Ministers of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) and Justice Canada in regards to a group of people referring to themselves as the 'Mikinak of Beauharnois,' who have proclaimed to be a territorial First Nation. The group appears to be closely aligned with the 'Confederation of Aboriginal People of Canada' spearheaded by Guillaume Carle.
The purpose of the letter is to officially convey Kahnawà:ke's condemnation of this unrecognized group and their claims over traditional Mohawk Territory, and to request that Canada intervene and quash the fraudulent misrepresentations being made by this group and immediately cease any engagement with these types of illegitimate groups.
A similar letter will also be sent to the Premier of Quebec to raise attention to the danger this has on the agreement for Kahnawa'kehró:non tax exemption at point of sale. Canada and Quebec both stand to lose tax revenues from such fraudulent taxation benefits.
The Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke is prepared to work collaboratively with the Federal Government to determine a course of action that ensures the title and rights of the Mohawks of Kahnawà:ke are protected from the encroachment of fraudulent groups such as the Mikinak and Confederation of Aboriginal People of Canada," said Grand Chief Joe Tokwiro Norton. "We implore Canada to take swift and meaningful action to put a stop to these fraudulent groups before the situation grows any more contentious."
MOHAWK COUNCIL OF AKWESASNE DOES NOT RECOGNIZE NEWLY FORMED "MIKINAK TRIBE"
The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne has been informed that a newly formed group named the "Mikinak Tribe," is fighting for the recognition of their members as Status Indians. This self-identified group, which is based out of Beauharnois, Quebec, seems to have ulterior motives that are money driven, and the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne does not recognize or support this group as a First Nation Community.
During a radio interview on July 8, 2016 with the K103 Partyline Talkshow, Guillaume Carle, who identifies himself as the National Grand Chief and National Spiritual Elder of the Confederation of Aboriginal People of Canada, noted that he was "a warrior from Akwesasne," and that he had "approached Akwesasne," and is "working together (with Akwesasne)." Additionally, in a June 29, 2016 interview with APTN, there is a nameplate that clearly displays Grand Chief of Akwesasne during a "Mikinak Tribe" meeting.
Grand Chief of Akwesasne Abram Benedict notes that "the Mikinak tribe has not approached the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne nor do we have any affiliation with them. This self-identified group seems to be claiming to be a Status Indian in order for tax exemption and money-driven motives."
Lise Brisebois, a "Chief" of the "Mikinak Tribe," has threatened businesses in Candiac, Quebec that if their members are refused to honour the Mikinak ID Cards, they could potentially blockade the highways, according to an article that was printed by the National Post on July 7, 2016.
Dennis Chaussi, District Chief of Kawehno:ke for the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne, articulates that this identifies how the group "is attempting to benefit themselves by utilizing Indian Status. Members of Akwesasne are very passionate about our background and heritage, and the 'Mikinak Tribe' is making a mockery out of First Nations Groups that have fought for their people, their culture and their inherent rights for hundreds of years."
In order for an individual to become a member of the "Mikinak Tribe," they have to pay $80 and show proof of their "Indian Gene," regardless of how far back it is in their ancestry, according to Carle.
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada noted in the APTN interview "while these cards convey membership to an organization, they do not convey Indian Status."
Grand Chief Abram Benedict also added, "While Council appreciates the support of any organization or individuals that backs First Nations Inherent Rights, this group is only trying to benefit themselves -not true First Nations people."
SOURCE MOHAWK COUNCIL OF KAHNAWAKE
For further information: FFI : Sondra Cross, Kanien'kéha Communications Officer, Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke, 450-632-7500 x2267