The new Kahnawake band council and Ville de Châteauguay are forging links
Published on 29 October 2021
During a friendly meeting held on October 26, 2021 with members of the Kahnawake band council and its Grand Chief Kahsennenhawe Sky-Deer, Châteauguay Mayor, Pierre-Paul Routhier, and the Managing Director of Héritage Saint-Bernard, Luc L’Écuyer, launched a new collaboration based on respect and reconciliation with the Mohawk community.
Relations between the two communities, which have gradually improved in recent years, reached a new milestone as a result of their collaboration on the redesign of the île Saint-Bernard knoll.
Pierre-Paul Routhier and Luc L’Écuyer announced, as the first sign of reconciliation, the introduction of free entrance to the Refuge faunique Marguerite-D’Youville for members of the Mohawk community. Other ideas for collaboration were also discussed, such as a potential contribution by Kahnawake to the Écomarché de l’île, with the aim of building sustainable socio-economic relations for the two parties.
Conservation and improvement works carried out on the île Saint-Bernard knoll last summer confirmed the Mohawk’s considerable attachment to this nature site. Moreover, archaeological digs conducted at the site over several years by the École de fouilles at the Université de Montréal, in which Mohawk students took part, indicated the presence of First Nations at the site dating back more than 5,000 years.
“This summer, during the archaeological excavations which took place on the île Saint-Bernard, we were informed that the Mohawk community had a deep historical attachment to this site. We thought about the matter and decided that it would be a good idea for the members of the Mohawk community to be able to benefit from this island and its attractions”, stated Mr Routhier. I enormously appreciate the relations that I have developed with the Kahnawake band council and those formed with the Mohawk community. I consider that relations between Châteauguay and Kahnawake are clearly better than they were several years ago. The future will tell us how far we can go.”
This enthusiasm is shared by Luc L’Écuyer, Managing Director of the management body of the wildlife refuge: “This understanding marks the beginning, we hope, of a long partnership between Héritage Saint-Bernard and the Mohawk community. We are talking and sharing with the neighbouring Nation and will continue to have the great honour of doing so.”, he concluded.