Feds step up support for traditional birthing

·2 min read

In an effort to create a climate of governance that can allow Kahnawake community members to have a say in how their community is managed and run in the future, the community is being invited to provide feedback and give their opinion on how the community should be run, governed and led into the future, the project manager of the Kahnawake Governance Project said earlier this week.

“We are wrapping up Phase 1 at present and we hope to be able to begin Phase 2 in August or September,” said KGOV project manager Gerald Taiaiake Alfred said.

On Tuesday, Alfred and his team held an information kiosk in the lobby of the Tewatohnhi’saktha building in an effort to solicit more feedback from the community on how best to govern Kahnawake going forward – in terms of a combination of traditional values and contemporary democracy, in order to ensure all are heard.

“We’re gathering feedback from the community and we’re expecting to be done with that soon,” but it’s not too late for community members to submit their thoughts to Alfred and his team, whether by phone or by email.

“It’s quite important for the community,” Alfred said. “It’s a question of how members of the community would like their community to be run, and that’s significant.”

The Kahnawake Governance Project was formed to work at arms-length from the MCK with the goal of helping the community discover a shared vision for a system of government based on traditional values and principles that serve the interests of all Kahnawa’kehró:non.

‘The transition to traditional governance is a long-standing goal of Kahnawa’kehró:non,’ a KGOV statement said. ‘In 1979, traditional governance was mandated by the community; in 1982, the MCK passed a resolution committing itself to this transition; and, in 2020, the MCK Governance Project identified that traditional governance was still a high priority for Kahnawa’kehró:non.’

“We’re looking for how we will work together to collectively meet the challenges facing our community and govern ourselves in the future,” said Alfred. “That solution is important to everyone but is especially important to our youth.”

Phase 1 of the project is the needs assessment. Surveys have been circulated and the response has been good, Alfred said, but the governance team is hoping to gather as much feedback as possible before moving onto phase 2.

“In phase 2 we want to build a bank of educational materials and set up an educational program. What will those topics be? What do people want to see? People can come give their feedback to me in person, by email or by phone,” Alfred added.

Submissions can be made by email to Alfred at Gerald.alfred@mck.ca or to community engagement coordinator Linda Delormier at linda.delormier@mck.ca or in person.

Marc Lalonde, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Iori:wase

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