Indian Time - A Voice from the Eastern Door

Entewatatha:wi Working Tables and Committee Members

 

Bernice Kahsennanoron Lazore

Entewatatha:wi has four working tables that involve Mohawk Council Portfolio Chiefs, community members and managers/directors from various Departments of Mohawk Council of Akwesasne. Each table has different tasks and participants of the tables provide experience, assist and advise to what each specific table needs. The following is a description of each table and a short biography of the committee members.

Entewatatha:wi Working Tables

Akwesasne Governance Code Committee

The Akwesasne Governance Code Committee (AGGC) consists of representatives from Entewatatha:wi, Aboriginal Rights and Research Office, Justice, Mohawk Government, District Chiefs and members from Akwesasne within the 3 districts. The group is tasked with developing the Akwesasne Governance Code that will govern the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne Chiefs. The document is a community driven document based on the principles of transparency, accountability and community expectations. The committee's job is to ensure the community expectations are reflected within the document. This document will bridge a gap between Council and the community to ensure sound governance. Currently, the AGCC is reviewing the first draft that provided core elements from each Akwesasne Law that pertained to Council. Prior to this, the Code consisted of all the Akwesasne laws and its entirety.

The Working Technical table is comprised of individuals from Entewatatha:wi, Aboriginal Rights and Research Office, Mohawk Government, Executive Services and Legal Counsel. The mandate of the working technical table is to draft the Akwesasne Governance Code as a collective group to ensure it captures the community expectations from the AGCC. The working group reports and presents to the Governance Code Committee to ensure all elements are captured within the Code that reflects the core principles upon which the code is built. Currently, the working group is preparing to review line by line with the AGCC to ensure consistency and accuracy from prior drafts. The next challenge is to incorporate the Akwesasne Financial Management Law into the Code.

Land Code Task Force

The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne (MCA) created the Land Code Task Force (LCTF) to draft the Akwesasronon Onkwenwhentsia'shon:a (Akwesasne Land Code). It is comprised of representatives from MCA's departments, community members, legal advisor as required, and staff from the Entewatatha:wi program.

For several years the LCTF has been working on the Land Code on a basis of including all aspects of land management into a single document. Last summer, the Entewatatha:wi program was requested to separate land administration and management provisions between Land Code and a Land Law. This has been done and the new Akwesasronon Onkwenwhentsia'shon:a will be a more simplified approach, while the Land Law will be more detailed.

The Akwesasronon Onkwenwhentsia'shon:a framework is significantly shorter and sets out the principles for Akwesasne's lands management to protect the interests in Akwesasne Lands. The Land Code will need to be consistent with the Sectoral Agreement. Rachel Lazare, Policy Analyst, has taken this new approach that involves a technical working group and maintains the existing LCTF table. The technical team is comprised of MCA departments that have the expertise in the areas that relate to land, this new approach should have a proposed draft document by the end of this calendar year.

Akwesasne Land Law

The land law will be developed to set out the rules and Akwesasne structures for lands management. As a result of dividing the Land Code into two separate documents, a new Working Task Group has been developed to draft the Akwesasne Land Law. Several sections of the previous draft Land Code will be transferred into the new Land Law. The Land Law will set out the rules and Akwesasne structures for lands management as well as details on the administrative bodies that will be responsible for land management in Akwesasne. The Land Law will need to be consistent with the Sectoral Agreement and the Land Code.

In order for the Land Law to be fully operational, the Land Law Working Group will also be researching and developing the required administrative bodies, and a dispute resolution mechanism along with their Charters and Regulations. These operating procedures and regulations for lands management will set out administrative policies and forms. We are expecting that this project start and continue into next fiscal year.

Akwesasne/Canada Negotiations

The Table is co-chaired by negotiators from Akwesasne and Canada, different representatives from MCA's departments, Entewatatha:wi staff, community members, legal advisors and other experts if needed.

The purpose of the table is for the Mohawks of Akwesasne and Canada to strive to reach agreements that implement practical arrangements for the exercise of jurisdiction and authority in identified areas, identify the structure and procedures through which the Mohawks of Akwesasne will exercise jurisdiction and authority and identify matters for future negotiations and jurisdiction and authority.

Entewatatha:wi Advisory

Committee

The Entewatatha:wi Advisory Committee (EAC) table consists of elders, youth and community members from Akwesasne. The table provides experience, advice and assistance to Entewatatha:wi's communication strategic plan, publications and other essential material to provide to Mohawk Council and to the community of Akwesasne that pertains to 'Self-Government'.

Currently, the table is working with other institutions to aid Entewatatha:wi in reaching its goals by providing their expertise and resources. The institutions are Indian Time Newspaper, CKON radio and MCA Communications Department. The EAC is developing topics for CKON Tetewatharen talk show, which will be aired once a month, MCA's Newsletter-Onkwe'ta:ke, Indian Time Newspaper, and is also working on short videos to add to the E-Newsletter, Entewatatha:wi's website, Facebook and other social media.

In near future Entewatatha:wi will be adding two new Working Tables: Fiscal Relations Working Table and Pre-Implementation Working Table.

Entewatatha:wi Committee

Members

Bernice Kahsennanoron Lazore

Spouse: James Roger Lazore

Clan: Wolf

Parents: Esther David and Frank Mitchell

Maternal Grandparents: Martha White and William David

Paternal Grandparents: Louise Martin and Angus Kariwate Mitchell

Children: Andrew Travis Seymour, James Conrad Lazore and Stuart Curtis Lazore

Born in: Cornwall, Ontario

Currently lives in: Kawehno:ke, Akwesasne

Experience: Retired since 2008. Employed by Federal, Provincial, Municipal and local governments. Worked as an Executive Secretary, Administrative Assistant, Historic Research Assistant, Conference Coordinator and Employee Assistant.

Why is Entewatatha:wi important to me: I have worked under Indian Affairs in the 60's as secretary to an Indian Agent, recorded minutes for Band Council for years. My interest has always been our government structure in Akwesasne. I have attended meetings with the Longhairs, Seven Nations, St. Regis Mohawk Tribe and Mohawk Nation and Mohawk Council of Akwesasne to keep learning and trying to understand the evolvement of our government. I believe it's time we got out of the Indian Act and went under our own laws and governance system.

Working Table(s): Akwesasne Governance Code Committee and Land Code Task Force

Patricia Benedict

Spouse: Charles Benedict

Parents: Rita and Clarence White

Maternal Grandparents: Louise and Louie McDonald

Paternal Grandparents: Annie David and grandfather unknown

Children: Jay, Keith, William, Wilford and Quinn

Born in: Malone, New York

Currently lives in: Kawehno:ke

Experience: Worked at a Bra factory, then Janet MacDonnell Pavilion for 17 years and volunteered on the Legislative for 8 years. Currently is retired.

Why is Entewatatha:wi important to me: To make things better and easier for the people!

Working Table(s): Akwesasne Governance Code Committee and Entewatatha:wi Advisory Committee

Rebecca P. White

Clan: Turtle

Parents: Bertha and Phillip Hopps

Maternal Grandparents: Grandmother unknown and Mitchell White

Paternal Grandparents: Mary Point and Mitchell Hopps

Children: April, Veronica, Brian and Lance

Born in: Cornwall, Ontario

Currently lives in: Kawehno:ke

Experience: Retired Mohawk Language Teacher

Why is Entewatatha:wi important to me: Entewatatha:wi is about our future!

Working Table: Land Code Task Force

Pam Brown

Clan: Bear

Parents: Virginia and Lloyd Brown

Maternal Grandparents: Lena and Daniel Nicholas

Paternal Grandparents: Louise and Samuel Brown

Born in: Cornwall, Ontario

Currently lives in: Akwesasne

Experience: Numerous years of a variety of work in the Akwesasne community.

Why is Entewatatha:wi important to me: To assure our lands, culture and traditions remain intact and will be passed on to the faces that are not here yet.

Working Table: Land Code Task Force

Lucy Papineau

Clan: Bear

Parents: Mary Thompson and Joseph Seymour

Maternal Grandparents: Elizabeth Bonspiel and Peter Thompson

Paternal Grandparents: Bella Roundpoint and Mitchell Seymour

Children: Leslie, Lane and Tawit

Born in: Cornwall, Ontario

Currently lives in: Kawehno:ke

Experience: Worked in Akwesasne for 35 years as a community Health Nurse.

Why is Entewatatha:wi important to me: I believe in the work the Entewatatha:wi staff is working towards. It is time that the community is part of the decision making with the government of Canada as it pertains to Akwesasne.

Working Table(s): Akwesasne/Canada Negotiations and Entewatatha:wi Advisory Committee

Rose Oakes

Spouse: William (O'Hara) Oakes

Clan: Bear

Parents: Charlotte and Lawrence Tarbell

Maternal Grandparents: Katie (McDonald) and Mitchell David

Paternal Grandparents: Mary and Joe Tarbell

Children: Deana, David and Dion

Born in: State Road, Akwesasne

Currently live in: Tsi Snaihne

Experience: Worked at the Adolescent Group Home for 17 years. Currently retired.

Why is Entewatatha:wi important to me: We need to get out of the Indian Act; this is really holding us back from handling our own government. We shouldn't have to pass our own laws to get recognition from outside governments.

Working Table: Entewatatha:wi Advisory Committee

Celia Jock

Clan: Bear

Parents: Grace and Mitchell Leaf

Maternal Grandparents: Cecelia and Stephen Ettienne

Paternal Grandparents: Unknown

Children: Natalie Jacobs, Kathy Thompson and Brittney Jock

Born in: Oka, Quebec

Currently lives in: Kana:takon

Experience: Worked at Home for the Aged/Basket Maker

Why is Entewatatha:wi important to me: Entewatatha:wi will give the people a better voice. The people need to be heard, respected and taking seriously.

Working Table: Entewatatha:wi Advisory Committee

Mia Francis

Parents: Tammy and Scott Francis

Maternal Grandparents: Patti and Ray Thompson

Paternal Grandparents: Marita and Dickie Francis

Born in: New Jersey

Currently lives in: Kana:takon

Experience: Graduated Neumann University, Interned at Washington Internship for Native Students, was part of Teach for America's Native Alliance Initiative, taught Kindergarten for 2 years at the Rosebud Sioux Reservation and is currently working as a Post-Secondary Liaison and sits on Mohawk Council of Akwesasne Youth Council.

Why is Entewatatha:wi important to me: Working with the elderly and the youth within our community has opened my eyes and my heart. I've realized the importance of our past, present and future generations working together to heal that past and make a brighter future.

Working Table: Entewatatha:wi Advisory Committee

Bill Sunday

Spouse: Connie Mary Sunday

Clan: Wolf

Parents: Josephine (Cook) and Frank Sunday

Maternal Grandparents: Dominic Cook

Paternal Grandparents: Anna and Louie Sunday

Children: Rene, Lynn and Nathan

Born in: St. Regis Indian Reserve

Currently lives in: Tsi Snaihne

Experience: Steel worker and former District Chief of Tsi Snaihne

Why is Entewatatha:wi important to me: Entewatatha:wi will change and improve the relationship with the Canadian government.

Working Table(s): Akwesasne Governance Code Committee and Akwesasne/Canada Negotiations

Geraldine Jacobs

Clan: Wolf

Parents: Sesi and Frank Jocco

Maternal Grandparents: unknown

Paternal Grandparents: Theresee Jocco and grandfather unknown

Children: Anson and Allen Jacobs, Shannon and Brandon Sylvester and Jamie and Robyn Jocco

Born in: St. Regis, Quebec

Currently lives in: Kawehno:ke

Experience: Worked at Indian Time Newspaper for a few years, also worked at the Kateri Hall as a Holy Communion Instructor. Currently is retired.

Patricia Benedict

Why is Entewatatha:wi important to me: I feel it's time for us, after 500 years, to stand on our own two feet. We don't need outside governments to get into our affairs. We have been taking care of ourselves way before the Europeans came here. We are unique and have a different way of dealing with life issues such as the environment, our lands and our people.

Working Table: Entewatatha:wi Advisory Committee

Other committee members that participate are:

Lewis Morris is a participant on Akwesasne Governance Code Committee and Akwesasne/Canada Negotiations.

Laura Paulette is a participant on Akwesasne/Canada Negotiations and Land Code Task Force.

Roxene Jones is a participant on the Entewatatha:wi Advisory Committee.

Tehaienkwarentos Thompson is a participant on the Entewatatha:wi Advisory Committee.

Lloyd Benedict is a participant on the Entewatatha:wi Advisory Committee.

Ann Marie Cross-Laughing is a participant on the Entewatatha:wi Advisory Committee.

 

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