About the Mohawk Nation Council of Chiefs
The Mohawk (Kahniakenhaka) Nation Council and its Chiefs are the designated representatives of the Sovereign Mohawk Nation. They are sanctioned by the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, and are participants in Grand Council sessions affecting the Mohawk Nation and other Confederacy members
The Mohawk Nation Council is an ancient democratic government, that was in operation centuries before European contact.
The Mohawk Nation and the other member Nations of the Confederacy including the Oneida, Onondaga, Cayauga, Seneca and Tuscarora, have built a government whose principles are based on peace and the participation of its citizens. It is sometimes referred to as a participatory democracy. The Mohawk and other Haudenosaunee Nations consider their government to be a gift of the Creator.
The emblem/logo used by the Haudenosaunee members illustrates the 50 Confederacy Chiefs holding hands in a circle, to protect the people and their ancient form of government. They are responsible for upholding the laws embodied in the Kaianerakowa (Great Law of Peace), as represented by the ever growing Tree of Peace in the center of the emblem. The animal clan symbols are representative of the family groups that the Chiefs are responsible to protect.
The fire of the Mohawk Nation is alive at Akwesasne and the head administrative of the Mohawk Nation Council and its Chiefs are located at:The Mohawk Nation
Akwesasne Mohawk Territory
P.O. Box 366
Via Rooseveltown, New York
tel: (518) 358-3326
or (518) 358-3381
fax: (518) 358-3488
Another emblem that is frequently used by the Mohawk Nation is the Territorial or Ayonwatha Belt (Hiawatha Belt). It is the first wampum belt that was made to commemorate the peaceful alliance of Haudenosaunee Nations.
The Mohawk Nation Council, its Chiefs, Clanmothers and Faithkeepers are not to be confused with the St. Regis (Mohawk) Tribal Council.
The St. Regis Tribal Council is a form of government that was forceably imposed upon the Akwesasne Mohawk people by New York State in 1892. Our people have consistently resisted and rebuked this form of government throughout its history. It has only shown significant consideration since 1972, when it gained federal recognition, and it began to administer much needed health, welfare and social service programs to this community.
The St. Regis Tribal Council exists because the United States Government has chosen to recognize a "a government that it created", instead of the one that was given to the Mohawk people by the Creator. It is unfortunate that it has become the government recognized by New York State and the Federal government as the legal entity at Akwesasne.
The St. Regis Tribal Council received federal recognition in 1972, even though it did not meet the minimum requirements under Federal law. The Mohawk Nation does not have the finances to challenge this administrative error in Federal court.
The St. Regis Tribal Council has elected Chiefs who hold office for three year terms. Even though they are Mohawk people, the do not represent the Sovereign Mohawk Nation. They only represent the St. Regis Tribal Council.