Mohawk Council of Akwesasne finalizes Settlement Agreement with Ontario Power Generation



    AKWESASNE, ON, Oct. 2 /CNW/ - The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne and Ontario
Power Generation (OPG) have signed a Final Settlement Agreement that
compensates the Mohawks of Akwesasne for impacts associated with the
construction, operation and maintenance of OPG's R.H. Saunders Generating
Station and its related facilities. The agreement also contains provisions for
both parties to work cooperatively on rehabilitating the environment and
making future improvements to the socio-economic well being of the Akwesasne
Community through the creation of jobs and employment opportunities.
    During a formal signing ceremony conducted at the St. Regis Recreation
Center in the district of Kanatakon, MCA Grand Chief Tim Thompson noted that,
"The final settlement agreement is a historic conclusion to 15-years of good
faith efforts." Grand Chief Thompson added, "We now look forward to developing
a positive relationship between the Mohawks of Akwesasne and Ontario Power
Generation."
    The settlement agreement addresses past wrongs that began in 1954 with
the construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway and Power Project. The aim of the
project was to harness the remaining potential for hydro-power of the St.
Lawrence River. Three large dams were constructed to tame a 90-foot drop at
the Long Sault Rapids and create a head pond for the R.H. Saunders Generating
Station.
    Traditional territory used by the Mohawks of Akwesasne was impacted,
including the flooding of ten islands belonging to Akwesasne Mohawks. The way
of life and ability to exercise certain aboriginal and treaty rights were also
impacted. The settlement agreement includes provisions to address these and
other impacts.
    OPG's Chairman, Jake Epp said: "I want to thank those who put so much of
their time and energy in developing this agreement. The settlement signed
today is the result of many years of work by members of the Akwesasne
community and staff from our company. We look forward to working with you on
its implementation."
    During the past 15 years, more than 100 Akwesasne elders and community
members have been involved in an intensive process to address grievances
associated with the R.H. Saunders Generating Station. Their involvement has
provided information and contributed to settlement terms that have been shared
and ratified by eligible voters in a community referendum on June 14, 2008.





For further information:

For further information: Mohawk Government Office, Mohawk Council of
Akwesasne, Tel: (613) 575-2348; Media Relations, Ontario Power Generation,
Tel: (877) 592-4008


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