Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe Meets with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Buffalo District
Nov 22, 2016
AKWESASNE – The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Council and the Tribe’s Environment Division met with representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s Buffalo District Office on Kentenhkó:wa/November 4th. Discussions focused on the Army Corps of Engineer’s design for the southern portion of the St. Lawrence Seaway, shoreline erosion due to seaway vessels, efforts to work with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on the remediation of Superfund Sites, and the Tribe’s ongoing solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux and its insistence that the Army Corps of Engineers pull all regulatory permits for the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota.
On behalf of the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe, Tribal Chief Eric Thompson stated, “There was no consultation with Akwesasne when the St. Lawrence Seaway and Power Project was constructed during the 1950s however, the environmental impacts demand we work with organizations, such as the Army Corps of Engineers, that have the requisite resources to address those impacts.”
Buffalo District Commander LTC Adam Czekanski, attended the meeting and serves on the International Joint Commission’s Board of Control, an international regulatory body that is working to alleviate the impacts of regulated water levels by implementing the Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Plan 2014. The Tribe supports the efforts of the International Commission’s plan, which will help protect endangered wildlife and habitats along the St. Lawrence.
Chief Thompson added, “The St. Lawrence Seaway drastically changed our environment due to erosion and the industrial contamination that followed from the availability of cheap hydroelectric power. As a result, we want to redefine our relationship through true partnership to negate its impact for the benefit of Akwesasne and others that rely upon it for sustenance.”
The Buffalo District service area includes 38,000-square miles, including the Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence River, and46-federally recognized Tribes. Currently, the Buffalo District Office is in the process of consulting with tribal governments on a government-to-government basis, with Akwesasne being the district’s Eastern-most tribal community.
PHOTO CAPTION: The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Council and the Environment Division met with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s Buffalo District on Kentenhkó:wa/November 4th to discuss shoreline erosion and environmental protection of the St. Lawrence River. Pictured are (from left): Environment Division Director Ken Jock, USACE Buffalo District Indian Nation Liaison William Butler, Tribal Chief Ron LaFrance, USACE Buffalo District Commander LTC Adam Czekanski, Tribal Chief Eric Thompson, Sub-Chief Michael Conners and Environment Division Water Resources Program Manager Tony David.
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The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Council is the duly elected and federally recognized government of the Saint Regis Mohawk People.