Letter to the Editor
Shekon, my name is Mark Kawesoton Light. I am from the Snipe clan. My mother is Darlene Jacobs Sunday and my grandmother is Beatrice Deer Jacobs. I have been living here in the territory of Akwesasne for the better part of my life. I have seen many changes here throughout my life. I remember when you could walk from Hogansburg to Snye and not have one car pass. Nowadays sometimes it’s hard to pull out of your own driveway. I have always tried to stay out of politics. I guess it’s time to voice an opinion on the current state of our beautiful community. Elections are coming up for the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe. We need people to get out and vote. It’s time, we as a people have to come out in big numbers to show our elected officials that the people here are sick and tired of the way our community is headed. I have five grandchildren and one on the way. I fear for their future. How come so many small businesses are closing down? How can the SRMT spend 70 + million on a casino expansion and they can’t even keep a 12.5 million dollar grocery store running. The casino parking lot is rarely full. You can’t even cash a paycheck there unless it’s from the SRMT. You would think they would offer free dinners to people to cash their paychecks there. Even Billy Gardner will cash MCA checks. Why do we as members of this community have to pay so much for gas? Pretty soon it will be cheaper off the Rez. No wonder all these small gas stations are closing, the rich seem to get richer. Every time we turn on a light switch we are getting ripped off by National Grid. Why does our electricity cost more here than anywhere else all around us? National Grid’s dam is right on our territory. We have a pill epidemic here and they wont fund a detox center. I hear the monies for law enforcement outscores the monies for the clinic. It’s been almost 3 months since my nephew died and they can’t even tell my sister who was driving the car. They tell her the State Police are still investigating. What? They hand out state tickets to our own people and give non-natives tribal tickets. I don’t get it when we have our own traffic court here on the Rez. Why should we give our money to the town of Bombay? I was motivated to go to council meetings to try to change “officer discretion” policy on issuing state tickets. They sure are good at blowing smoke up the old butt. I gave up and that’s what they expect. I was told last year that I was on the list to get my foundation of my humble home fixed. For a while I was going up there and asking when they can do it and it’s always the same thing, “we are very busy or no money”. When they put in the sewer line, the dynamite weakened my foundation. Now every once in awhile the sewer backs up and we can’t even sit in the house. People tell me that I have to go up there every day and bug them. I gave up. I don’t like to bother people and some sick part of me believes that when someone tells me they are going to do something I actually believe them. Ok, enough whining because I could probably write a book and I’m sure I’m not alone. I encourage all members that can vote to do so. They count on small numbers voting but it’s time to show the SRMT that we are tired of the same old...I myself am voting for my good friend Eric Thompson for the sub chief position. He attended law school. He is young and has a beautiful family. He speaks our language as does his companion and his children. He has a love for his traditional ways as he does for his people. His heart is good and he has respect for his elders and for our Mother Earth. With his education and traditional teachings he has the best of both worlds. I know when he makes decisions on important issues he won’t do it in haste. He will give thought to how it will affect our children and grandchildren and future generations. In closing I urge all community members to get out and vote!! I’m going to vote for my good friend Eric. They always say it’s who you know before you can get anything done from council. Eric is a good man with both ears open. He will be a good voice for our people. Remember that being Kahniakehake is more than a tax-exempt number.