The Akwesasne Mohawks on Cornwall Island, Ontario, Canada, would like Canadian customs agents to come back to work on the island. But the Mohawks are insisting customs agents come without guns.
The Canada Border Services Agency has taken note of the tribal plebiscite but states “the CBSA will not return to the island unless they can do so with all the tools they need to do their job, including their duty firearms.”
Both the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne, which governs the Canadian side of the reservation, and the St. Regis Mohawk Tribal Council, which governs the American side, conducted a survey of about 1,500 residents. The survey asked whether people supported the return of the CBSA to the island and whether agents should be armed.
Customs agents carrying guns is what prompted protests among Akwesasne Mohawks, who say arming the customs officers infringes on tribal sovereignty. The protests have been ongoing since May and apparently the Canadian customs agency has abandoned its post since then.
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