St. Regis Mohawk Tribe

Mailing Address

New York


Cultural History

The St. Regis Mohawk Tribe is considered as the keepers of the Eastern Door of the Iroquois Confederacy also known as the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. They are former inhabitants of New York up to the Southern Canada and Vermont. However, previous to the contact with the Europeans, the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe inhabited the Mohawk Valley of New York State instead. They have long influenced several nations which was believed even by the Dutch who settled in Hudson River and Manhattan. Their current location is now the nearest to the Albany and Montreal where they used to trade fur. Their strategically ideal location contributes to their somewhat complicated history. 

Around the 1750ís, the Kahnawake resettled near the Iroquois where the French Jesuits established missions on what is now known as the St Regis River. The river was eventually used by the tribe for their fishing and hunting purposes. It was there where the first church named the Akwesasne was built. As the Mohawks left the Mohawk Valley, their population experienced rapid growth. As a result of the wars like the Feewnch and Indian War, the refugees sought shelter in what is now known as Saint Regis. Migrations soon followed and in 1796, the Seven Nations of Canada sought for rights to stay on the area permanently. Finally, because of a treaty signed by the representatives of the Seven Nations of Canada together with the State of New York, a small parcel of land was settled for the tribe. Several treaties have reduced the size of the original reservation area and increased the annuities. 

In 1888, the Mohawks Nation officially accepted the responsibilities of the Confederacy being the successors of the early Mohawks who inhabited the Mohawk Valley. Following the American War of Independence, the Mohawk people decided to select representatives to communicate with the New York Government. This was when the Indian Reorganization Act was proposed.  In the 1960ís, though, the leaders of the Iroquois tribes with the leaders of the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe came to Washington to finally settle for a harmonious relationship.

The tribal government of the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe has encountered changes throughout the years. From trustees, they were called Tribal Chiefs which is still the title today. These people are elected by the general members. There are three tribal chiefs, three sub-chiefs and a tribal clerk. The tribe spearheads its own social, economic, health and education programs as well as its laws and other regulations. 

Today, the tribe has a record of 1,200 Natives and Non-Natives in employment. The businesses operated by the tribe vary from restaurants, groceries and convenience stores, retail clothing, craft shops, hotels and motels, clubs, museums, fitness centers to real estate. There are 116 tribally registered businesses. The Akwesasne Mohawk Casino was established in 1999, has over 800 slot machines, 25 game tables, 12-table poker room and a new feature called the Mohawk Mystery Jackpot. The Mohawk Bingo Palace and the Class II Casino is a little older, having been established in 1985 but is one of the favorites because of its ranks as Class II.

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