Land Aq2
Land Aq2

Tribal Council Responds to Two-Acre Land Assignment

Feb 26, 2021

Reacquisition of Tribal lands has been a priority for the Akwesasne community for many generations. Tribal leaders, past and present, have been consistent in the effort to reacquire our stolen lands at every opportunity.

In 2018, Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe (SRMT) repurchased 240 acres of reservation land illegally purchased by New York State (NYS) in 1824. For several years a group of community members, led by Roger Jock, had occupied the lands to make a political point about past violations by NYS.

In a good faith effort to acknowledge the sacrifice Mr. Jock and his family made in their efforts to reclaim land for community use, Tribal Council met with him prior to the purchase to discuss how both parties may move forward with ka'nikonhrí:io, a good mind. Plans for a housing development were shared, along with a vision for a new Partridge House Rehabilitation facility, a non-denominational burial site, educational facilities and a new museum/heritage center. A mutual understanding was reached; the Tribe’s future proposed use of the reacquired land use was consistent with Mr. Jock’s stated motivation for occupying the property. As Tribal Council is responsible for the health, welfare and safety of our people, it will always seek peaceful resolutions.

The 240-acre parcel was purchased and returned to our rightful Mohawk ownership after 194 years. The purchase cost the Tribe $400,000, or approximately $1,700 per acre. This amount was far below the $750,000 public listing.

Any future development of the property will be driven by the needs of our growing community, consistent with the core strategies expressed within the Tribe’s long-term strategic plan. Development of the reacquired land will take time. Jurisdictional complexities exist at the site within the context of the ongoing land claim settlement negotiations. Additionally, as the Covid-19 pandemic persists, the Tribe’s primary focus has necessarily turned to emergency operations, response, and safe provision of essential services. Although development progress has slowed, Tribal Council’s commitment to its stated development goals remains strong.


Immediately following the 2018 purchase, community members raised questions at Tribal meeting regarding the resolution reached between Tribal Council and Mr. Jock. It was publicly disclosed that two acres of the reacquired lands were to be set aside for Mr. Jock as part of the political settlement, thus avoiding unnecessary conflict with our own people. This action by Tribal Council is consistent with a past practice of providing for land assignments in certain situations. Following the announcement of this historic purchase, SRMT shared the conceptual site plan (map) via its Facebook page, and Tribal Council members took part in discussions on social media.

Part of the agreement was to move Mr. Jock’s blue building to the new site, in the same way it had been set up. It was later determined that moving the building was dangerous, due to its condition. Instead of moving the building, a compromise was made to pay Mr. Jock $25,000. This amount was far less than the cost, and risk, to move the building and set it up at the new assigned site. Ultimately, SRMT demolished the former blue building and installed fencing around the two-acre land assignment, giving Mr. Jock the opportunity to ensure all activities and development on the property stays within the established area, and for proper demarcation for potential future Land-Into-Trust application.

Tribal Council has no involvement with any current or future development on the two-acre site. Applicable laws will be enforced without prejudice. Any other disputes involving Roger Jock do not involve the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe.

In keeping with its commitment to transparency and accountability, Tribal Council on Enniska/February 11, 2021 posted a public notice regarding the land assignment. For Horst Wuersching Property Purchase Public Outreach Chronology, please see the attached document at

The comment period for the two-acre land assignment has been extended until Wednesday, Ennisko:wa/March 3, 2021. Tribal members are also welcome to bring up any concerns during monthly Tribal Meeting New Business, or call Tribal Council directly at (518) 358-2272.