NEWS

Kahnawake elects new band council

07/07/2012 04:49 EDT | Updated 09/06/2012 05:12 EDT
Voters in Kahnawake have given Mike Delisle a third consecutive term as Grand Chief.

Delisle won his third consecutive term, defeating his only challenger – Barry Alfred – by 142 votes during Saturday's election.

Land was a major issue for all candidates during the election campaign.

Kahnawake is in talks with both the provincial and federal governments over the fate of some 20,000 acres on the South Shore.

Most of that land is now owned by non-Mohawks, which is causing concern about future crowding in the community.

"Our community is growing, you know, so quickly. Right now we have enough land," said Eastern Door editor Steve Bonspiel.

"In five, ten , twenty years, it's going to be a land crunch, and you're going to see more and more people move out of the community, because there's going to be no place to live."

Bonspiel thinks the new band council has other means to consolidate Kahnawake's land holdings, for example, by implementing succession rules.

Current land owners would have to sell their property to Mohawks, instead of leaving it to family members as an inheritance.

"If they have to sell to the Mohawk nation and they can't pass it down to their kids, then they get you know compensated for their house, the house goes to a Mohawk, eventually, and it become Mohawk land."

The new band council officially takes power at the end of July.

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