Indian Time - A Voice from the Eastern Door

From the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne dated July 26, 2013


It is with a heavy heart that the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne has learned of the passing of Sakakohe Pembleton on Thursday, July 25th. Saka will be remembered for her unwavering dedication to our community; her dedication and hard work set the pace for everyone around her. She was strong when she needed to be and gentle and understanding at the right moments. She truly exemplified what it meant to be a loyal and dedicated employee and natural leader.

Saka had a natural proficiency for administration and management. Beginning in 1984, Saka held a number of executive positions within Mohawk Council of Akwesasne. With very short notice Saka could be counted on to fill any senior level position including Executive Director, formerly known as Chief Administrative Officer, and Special Projects Officer. Saka was thorough and dedicated to her work. She was instrumental in the development of MCA’s Operational Planning process.

Grand Chief Mike Kanentakeron Mitchell noted, “Saka’s dynamic personality and optimism helped MCA to survive some very rough periods in our governance development.”

In 2003, Saka accepted a position as the Director of Health. The Department of Health is one of the largest service areas within MCA. Her ability to look someone in the eye and lay out the facts in question distinguished her as a keen negotiator. She routinely updated Council and was always forthcoming with the facts whether those facts were positive or negative.

Executive Director Sheree Bonaparte shared, “She led the Department of Health through many hard times and rough waters. Both MCA employees and her community are thankful for all that she has done.”

Saka was phenomenal when it came to debate. She defended and protected the things that were most important to her.

Kawehno:ke District Chief Brian David offered, “I first met Saka in the 1970s ... I quickly recognized that she operated by a strong principle base. That never changed.”

Saka is remembered for being a great woman. She pushed her fellow employees to become better people and a better community exists because of her. She will be missed. MCA extends our most sincere condolences to her family and offers our support at this time.

On behalf of Saka’s dedication and loyalty the Kanonhkwatsheri:io Health Facility was closed on Monday, July 29, 2013 to honor her.


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