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Mohawk Council of Kahnawá:keTsi nahò:ten kahiatónnion a'arákonEnsaié:nawaseOnhkharéhson Aionkhihsnoé:nen
Tsi Ietsenhaientáhkhwa
Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke
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Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke

Highway 30 court case to begin next week


The Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke (MCK) wishes to advise the community that the lawsuit brought against the Quebec government by Chateauguay, Ste-Catherine, St-Constant, St-Isidore as well as the MRC de Roussillon to block the return of the Highway 30 lands, and lands along the Old Chateauguay Road, to Kahnawà:ke is scheduled to begin Monday, May 1st in the Superior Court of Quebec.

The case revolves around approximately 500 acres of land that the Government of Quebec promised to return Kahnawà:ke as a result of the extension of Highway 30 through the Seigneury of Sault St. Louis. The formal transfer of these lands has been delayed by this lawsuit wherein the Roussillon mayors claim they weren’t consulted on the matter and are contesting the legality of Order-in-Council 498-2013. This order-in-council is the instrument used by the provincial Crown to transfer lands to Canada to be converted to reserve status for the use and benefit of the Mohawks of Kahnawà:ke. The Government of Canada has yet to formally accept the lands as a result of the uncertainty surrounding these proceedings.

The MCK is named as a mise-en-cause in the matter – the MCK is not named as a defendant but it will have all the same rights as a defendant in these proceedings. Therefore, former Grand Chief Michael Ahríhron Delisle, Jr. will testify on behalf of the MCK given that he oversaw negotiations leading to the adoption of Order-in-Council 498-2013. Other witnesses for the MCK are John Bud Morris, Michael O’Brien and John Dee Delormier.

“This lawsuit has been a huge thorn in the side of Kahnawà:ke,” said current Grand Chief Joseph Tokwiro Norton. “We have been robbed of several economic development opportunities because the land has not been formally returned to reserve status. We have been frustrated because, once again, we acted in good faith while others haven’t.”

“We didn’t start this lawsuit but I’ll be damned if we aren’t going to have our say in this matter,” he concluded. “This exercise is nothing but a means to prevent us from gaining any type of perceived economic development advantage in the region. As far as we’re concerned the attack isn’t the Roussillon versus Quebec. It’s the Roussillon versus Kahnawà:ke – pure and simple.” 

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