Akwesasne is a Mohawk Nation that lies directly south of Cornwall.
The name Akwesasne in Mohawk means “Land Where the Partridge Drums”, referring to the rich wildlife in the area. Akwesasne was founded in the mid-18th century by people from Kahnawake, a Catholic Mohawk village south of Montreal.
Akwesasne territory incorporates part of the St. Lawrence River, the mouths of the Raquette and St. Regis rivers, and a number of islands in these three rivers. The territory is divided by the Canada United States border and further divided by the Canadian provincial boundary between Ontario and Quebec.
The largest island in the territory is Cornwall Island (Kawehno:ke). It is home to a number of commercial establishments as well as the administration offices of the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne. A key focal point for sporting and cultural events on the island is the A’nowara’ko:wa Arena (Big Turtle Arena). The arena is the site of the International Pow-Wow each September, which provides the opportunity for thousands of visitors to experience Mohawk culture and heritage.
Cornwall Island is accessible from Cornwall via the Seaway International Bridge. Visitors can walk, cycle or drive to the island.
Major hamlets and villages include :
- Kawehno:ke (Cornwall Island, Ontario)
- Kana:takon (Saint Regis, Quebec)
- Tsi:Snaihne (Snye, Quebec)