Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe Submits 140-Acre
Land In Trust Application
Community Development a Tribal Priority
AKWESASNE — In step with the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe’s strategic planning, community development is at the forefront of Tribal Council’s actions. On March 1, 2017, the Tribal Council submitted its third land to trust application to the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The 140-acre parcel of reservation land is within a land claim area known as the Hogansburg Triangle.
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The SRMT is seeking sovereign jurisdiction and authority over a unique parcel of land that is designed to host infrastructure initiatives that bring connectivity, sustainable energy sources and construction resources together, serving the territory and bridging the digital divide in broadband capabilities throughout the North Country. Building a future for the community includes impacting the local and regional economy through business relationships, planning and infrastructure and sustainable revenue capacity. Chief Eric Thompson explains the growth initiatives, “Our tribally owned broadband enterprise, Mohawk Networks, LLC, erected an FCC approved 400’ tower that enables our wireless, high-speed Internet technology to expand services off territory through our subsidiary, North Country Broadband. The Tribe’s new Planning and Infrastructure building is under construction and the $2.6M investment will be completed in April 2017.”
Chief Ron LaFrance commented on a project underway by the Akwesasne Housing Authority to construct a solar farm on land that is included in the trust application, “The AHA’s Go Solar initiative is exactly the type of clean energy project we need to be spear-heading, not only in our community, but in our region.” Under the land in trust process, this property will become part of the reservation and under tribal control and will be exempt from state taxes and regulations.
Chief Beverly Cook stated, “The benefits of a negotiated settlement are not insignificant to Franklin County. It is our hope that the Legislature moves forward with a vote to proceed to a long-awaited settlement. But, in the absence of an agreement, we have a duty to our people to expand our territory and return land to its rightful ownership. The projects we have underway are exciting for our region; they’re creating jobs, impacting the economy through increased connectivity and redefining power sources that are kind to our environment.”
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