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HISTORICAL SIGNINGS MEAN BETTER COMMUNICATIONS AND RELATIONS BETWEEN THE MOHAWKS OF KAHNAWAKE AND THE QUÉBEC GOVERNMENT

Translation

KAHNAWAKE, October 15, 1998 - The Grand Chief of the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake, Mr. Joseph Tokwiro Norton, and the Québec Minister responsible for Aboriginal Affairs, Mr. Guy Chevrette, have signed today two important documents that utilize the respective principles and concepts found in the Two Row Wampum and the document entitled Partnership, Development, Achievement.

The first document is a Statement of Understanding and Mutual Respect in which Québec and Kahnawake agree to settle any dispute that may arise between them by discussion and negotiation.

Also signed today is a Framework Agreement which provides for the legal terms of reference for the conclusion of agreements in other fields of jurisdiction. It is expected that the first series of these agreements will be concluded within the next three months and will be in the following areas:

Tax Matters:
Tax Matters involve distinguishing between the tax status of Mohawks and others.

Economic Development:
Economic Development involves the participation and/or support of Québec in some of Kahnawake's economic development projects.

Public Security:
Public Security includes agreements on Policing, Alcohol, and Sport.

Administration of Justice:
Administration of Justice includes the enhancement of Kahnawake's Justice system.

User Fees:
The principle of user fees includes a fair compensation for the utilization of Kahnawake's Territory.

The Framework Agreement is for an indefinite period, in order to emphasize that the harmonious relationship established between Québec and Kahnawake is a permament one.

Regarding this initiative, Grand Chief Joseph Tokwiro Norton has stated These historic agreements suggest that the future relationship between the respective governments will be a more constructive one. It also underlines the significance of the Two Row Wampum doctrine dealing with mutual respect, peaceful co-existence and parity, our ancestral policy for intergovernmental relations.

For his part, Mr. Guy Chevrette declared: I am very happy to see that the new policy which I have proposed and which has been adopted by the Québec Government last April, is producing concrete and tangible results. I sincerely believe that this pattern of a Framework Agreement leading to a series of sectoral agreements is the best way to achieve stable and harmonious relations between Québec and the native nations and communities.

The Agreement provides that, by mutual agreement, the Government of Canada could be invited to participate to sectoral or tripartite negotiation tables.

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SOURCE :
Shirley Bishop
Attachée de presse
(418) 644-5846
Timmy Norton
Public Relation Officer
Mohawk Council of Kahnawake

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