CFN – Mohawk Council of Akwesasne Grand Chief Mike Kanentakeron Mitchell will travel to the Attawapiskat First Nation on Tuesday, December 20, 2011, along with the Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo and Regional Chief Angus Toulouse. The Grand Chief’s trip follows an invitation from the National Chief’s Office to accompany Chiefs Atleo and Toulouse, as well as Aboriginal entertainer Susan Agulkark and motivational speaker Waneek Horn-Miller, on a personal visit and assessment of Attawapiskat.


The Grand Chief will also be traveling at the request of the Mohawk Council to gauge the alarming situation at Attawapiskat, which has been the focus of national media attention during the past weeks. The Grand Chief’s personal assessment will determine what items and/or expertise are urgently needed by the First Nation; such as technical and trade skills, multi-year planning and experience with community housing.


“Akwesasne can help with any of these specific areas,” stated Grand Chief Mitchell. He added, “We know that there is a massive drive underway across the country to send used clothing and other emergency items, but we need to look at what will bring long-term stability to the community.”


The primary purpose of trip is to see what First Nations communities can do to help other First Nations, as we learn that Attawapiskat is not an isolated situation. In addition to Attawapiskat, there are reports of more than 100 First Nations communities in northern Canada that are experiencing similar setbacks; with improper educational facilities, untreated sewage and insufficient drinking water, as well as substandard housing.


An increasing number of First Nations need help in developing housing and safety codes that will protect their families and communities. First Nations, such as Akwesasne, can assist in these areas by providing its firsthand knowledge and technical assistance. Some items that the MCA hopes to share is Akwesasne’s experience in overseeing water and wastewater treatment facilities, community housing developments, as well as the training of highly-skilled professionals like firefighters and police officers.


The Grand Chief stated that, “The MCA has received numerous calls from local and regional organizations associated with educational institutions and the business community, both in Cornwall and Akwesasne, that are interested in volunteering for fundraising efforts.” He added, “We appreciate their willingness and look forward to developing a plan where their help will be most effective.”


The trip to Attawapiskat is being sponsored by RIM, the company that produces the popular Blackberry product line.

Moustache Joes


  1. Over and above all the rhetoric we’ve heard over the past couple of months there is just one question that no-one can seem to answer: Where did all those millions of dollars disappear to?

  2. i am sure that the millions of dollars went to providing some services there and it probably wasn’t allocated to housing
    akwesasne also has housing issues, there are homeless people here too and they should be also taken care of and provide them with resources to survive the winter!
    a leader of the people should tend to his own backyard before helping other communities

  3. Good on RIM and the Chiefs for this. Communities supporting other communities is a great idea.

    I am no accountant but looking through the financial documents available on is just confusing. Money coming from so many different government departments for different concerns or needs is just a challenge to juggle.
    There must be a better way to provide.

    There must also be some thought put into keeping the reserve available but having people closer to work and schools most of the year.

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