MONTRÉAL, June 21, 2019 /CNW Telbec/ - At a press briefing during National Indigenous Peoples Day, Chief Kahsennenhawe Sky-Deer of the Kahnawake Band Council and Maja Vodanovic, Mayor of Lachine, made it clear, through the steps they took to cultivate closer relations, that this was the beginning of promising collaborative efforts. The first street in the new sector under development in Lachine-Est will have a Mohawk name. The two elected officials also expressed their common desire to create an authentic Aboriginal destination that will showcase heritage sites located on both shores of the river, including at the Musée de Lachine, which is benefiting from investments by Ville de Montréal.
"On this National Indigenous Peoples Day, we are pleased to announce these collaborative efforts, as the Mohawks' presence, on what is now the territory of Lachine, dates back 2,000 years, given its strategic position at the junction of navigable routes. The Mohawks distinguished themselves as steelworkers on the Dominion Bridge, in the industrial sector of Lachine, the cradle of industrialization in Canada. They built bridges, ships and skyscrapers that transformed the skyline of modern America," stated Maja Vodanovic, Mayor of Lachine.
"I'm very excited about this symbolic gesture between Lachine and Kahnawake to exchange gifts and forge a new relationship moving forward. We have the potential to do great things together and the first step is to acknowledge our past, celebrate the present and then look forward to a positive future," emphasized Chief Kahsennenhawe Sky-Deer.
For these announcements, Maja Vodanovic and Kahsennenhawe Sky-Deer were accompanied by the Kahnawake Band Council and Marie-Josée Parent, member of Ville de Montréal's Executive Committee and Councillor for Culture and Reconciliation.
The name of an avenue in Lachine will be in the Kanien'kéha language
The first street name in the Lachine-Est sector was unveiled together with the members of the Kahnawake Band Council: avenue Skaniatarati, a name given to Lachine by the members of the Kahnawake community and which means "On the other shore". "Avenue Skaniatarati marks Montréal's urban fabric by celebrating the relations between the communities of Lachine and Kahnawake. This significant gesture honours the Kanien'kéha language and contributes to its revitalization. In this International Year of Indigenous Languages, proclaimed by UNESCO, we are proud to pay tribute to the Indigenous languages and the cultures they bring, by transforming public spaces so that the rich imagination of these languages can inhabit them," mentioned Marie-Josée Parent, Councillor for Culture and Reconciliation and member of Ville de Montréal's Executive Committee.
A new mission and investments for the Musée de Lachine
A new mission came into effect in 2019 to focus the Musée de Lachine on the history of the region, from the first Amerindian occupations to the present day. "This renewed mission is giving us the impetus to create a future tourism hub on both shores of the river, an authentic Aboriginal destination involving the Musée de Lachine and the Kahnawake Cultural Center," stated Maja Vodanovic, Mayor of Lachine. "This is an opportunity to redefine history together among our nations, to highlight the Mohawks' significant contribution to the construction of modern Canada. We will tell this story together, about the collaborative efforts of peoples in the passage of the rapids, in the construction of bridges and skyscrapers in North America."
Ville de Montréal has agreed to invest in rehabilitating and renovating Maison Le Ber-Le Moyne as well as Pavillon Benoît-Verdikt, which forms part of the Musée de Lachine. This large-scale work project, scheduled for completion in 2021, will make the premises more functional and welcoming to visitors in all seasons. The green light for this project was given at the City Council meeting in March, when the City's elected officials approved an initial sum of $815,000 for professional services. "This decision by our Administration will make it possible to carry out a long-awaited, necessary and relevant project that will highlight a part of the history of Lachine and Montréal that we share with the Kanien'kéha Nation," explained Marie-Josée Parent, Councillor for Culture and Reconciliation and member of Ville de Montréal's Executive Committee.
"Kahnawake and Lachine have been neighbours for hundreds of years," mentioned Grand Chief Joseph Tokwiro Norton. "This is a gesture that expresses the true spirit of reconciliation and friendship. It is very much appreciated by the entire community."
SOURCE Ville de Montréal - Arrondissement de Lachine
For further information: Sophie Lepage, Chargée de communication, Ville de Montréal, Arrondissement de Lachine, 514 634-3471, ext. 371/cell.: 438 622-9598