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(Kahnawake – 5, Enníska/February 2024) The Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke (MCK) is issuing a statement in regard to narratives that have been circulating within the community about the organization and its representatives. While opinions are important, the nature of recent discussions explicitly target individuals, and unjustly reflect on the organization. Words carry power, and it is the MCK’s responsibility to ensure these discussions can take place constructively without defamatory intent to harm any one person or entity.
As Kanien’kehá:ka, it is our collective responsibility to treat one another with dignity and respect. We understand and acknowledge the history of trauma that has, and continues to, impact our community. While expression is important, each and every one of us must ensure we harness the power of expression responsibly, especially when the message is rooted in false information or malicious intent. The irreparable harm to the reputation of our community members and organization challenge the integrity that we hold as a healthy community. We must remind one another to reflect on how we conduct ourselves, how we treat one another in our homes, in our families and within our community. This obligation is there for us all as Kanien’kehá:ka, regardless of the positions we hold.
There are countless attacks, rumors and damaging falsehoods being spread both in social media and in social circles. Many of which, have hurt the targeted individuals and the people within, and associated, to the organization. We live in a society which welcomes the healthy exchange of ideas and allows for disagreements, but we must make room for debate – by approaching challenges with the intention of safely resolving in healthier and more respectable ways. It is part of what allows for accountability and serves to guide leadership in their duties. Intention to harm is contrary to our values and is in direct opposition to mutual respect, understanding and safety. Treating others in this manner, and those who are in leadership positions, does not create a space for individuals who aspire to take on leadership roles. We must be mindful that our future leaders are always watching.
It is up to each one of us to reflect and be accountable for our words, our actions, and the type of example we are setting for our community now, and for the generations to come. We implore the community to reflect on our inherent values so we can conduct ourselves with dignity, respect, and with kindness and compassion to others.
The MCK is committed to maintaining an environment where honest communication is welcomed and there exists opportunity for healthy debate. The door remains open for anyone wishing to have constructive discussions, address conflicts and validate the truth.
Lisa Lahache Political
Press Attaché 450- 632-7500 ext. 63251