SRMT hears Community Development Fund project plans


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AKWESASNE — At a monthly tribal meeting held July 9, representatives of the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe (SRMT) heard exciting presentations from the Akwesasne Freedom School (AFS) and the Akwesasne Boys and Girls Club (ABGC) .

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Both organizations received additional funding from SMRT in February as recipients of community development funds.

Previously, SMRT increased its support for AFS to $200,000 per year through an American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). In February, an additional $2 million was pledged for the construction of the new AFS building. Similarly, SMRT previously pledged $1 million for the construction of the new ABGC building, adding another $3 million earlier this year.

Representatives of the AFS clarified during their presentation that the contribution will apply to the estimated budget of $3.6 million for the new school. Construction is tentatively expected to begin in early 2023 and be completed next fall. The new building will include a 12,000 to 15,000 square foot facility at 60 Freedom Way, adjacent to the existing building on the east side of State Route 37 in Akwesasne. AFS was founded in 1979 by Mohawk parents concerned about the lack of cultural and linguistic services available in local schools.

ABGC staff explained how the construction of a new 18,900 square foot building could better serve the youth of Akwesasne. The building would stand on a three-acre parcel of land, donated by the tribe, along 71 Margaret Terrance Memorial Way in Akwesasne. It would provide new classrooms, a gymnasium, a kitchen, offices, a teenage suite and a large multipurpose room for entertaining and activities. Young members would have easier access to the grounds of Generations Park. ABGC sees over 700 young Mohawks participate in programs each year as the only Native boys and girls club in New York City.

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“We are extremely proud of the work done by Akwesasne Freedom School and the Akwesasne Boys and Girls Club and their desire to improve the services they provide to those who are most precious to us, our children,” said the tribal chief Beverly Cook. “We are pleased to support the efforts of both organizations to create safe and supportive gathering spaces in our community through the Community Development Fund.

Both organizations are seeking additional donations to help create new facilities for local youth. More information can be found at and

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