Brownfields Area 1
Area 1 extends from the western border of Akwesasne at the Franklin/St. Lawrence County border, east to the St. Regis River, and from the St. Lawrence River, south to the southern border of Akwesasne.
One of the most important natural resources in Akwesasne is the St. Lawrence River. In the Mohawk language, this river is called Kaniatarowanenneh or “big waterway” and it has been used by the residents of Akwesasne for centuries as a source for food, water, and travel. Over 200 species of freshwater fish can be found in the St. Lawrence River as well as over 100 bird species living along its banks.
"Archaeological studies conducted on islands on the Akwesasne territory indicate that this area was extensively used by aboriginal groups that hunted, fished, and gathered berries and plant life. The islands themselves seemed to have been used primarily as a place to process the fish they caught before sending it on to the bigger villages situated deeper inland. Some islands were used for burial mounds, indicating an advanced concept of an afterlife. Like the earlier hunters before them, these later inhabitants shared and traded resources and technology with those around them"
The St. Regis River flows along the edge of area 1. The St. Regis River supports a variety of fish species like walleye and muskellunge, including two state-listed threatened species, the lake sturgeon and the eastern sand darter, as well as the American eel which is a population in sharp decline.