We hear you

Let’s address your concerns.

Why is the powwow being moved to Cornwall?

Because the Akwesasne Powwow has grown in numbers throughout the years, the flow of traffic has become a major concern. If an emergency were to happen, it’s been determined that a firetruck or ambulance would not be able to reach the powwow grounds in a timely manner. 

Why Cornwall?

This was not an easy decision to make and other locations were considered and visited to determine if the powwow could be held within the territory; it won’t fit. The powwow is a massive event that sees close to 20,000 people within two days. Multiple locations were viewed before Cornwall was even considered. Generations park cannot withstand an event that attracts the number of guests that will visit the powwow, and the parking will not be adequate. 

The race tracks were considered but with no rain-out location nearby and the mud can become an issue for guests and dancers.  

Please know, this is also not a permanent decision. The ultimate goal is to bring the powwow back to the A’nowarakowa Arena, but it simply can’t happen until the roadways are capable of moving the kinds of numbers the powwow attracts. The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne has been brought to the attention of the issue.

Why not the American side of Akwesasne?

As mentioned previously the infrastructure needed to host an event of this size is not currently available on the US side of Akwesasne. Any location of this size would require a great deal of work in preparing the area needed and would not/could not be done in the timeframe needed to prepare for a September start date.

Did you consult the community before making this decision?

The Powwow committee consulted with MCA and brought forth the safety concerns to the elected chiefs and as representatives for the various districts and the voices of said districts, we felt our conversations constituted consultation with the Community.

What will food vendors from Akwesasne have to do to be a part of the powwow?

All food vendors in the past who set up at the Akwesasne Powwow as a food vendor had to/has to complete a Food Handling & Food Safety package in order to set up at the Akwesasne Powwow.  These are the same/similar to the same forms that are requested by the Eastern Ontario Health Unit but have the MCA logo on top.  Therefore, food vendors are already accustomed to the process requested for the safe food being sold at the Powwow. Also most food vendors that apply already have certifications from previous years and or get food handling training.

Will food and vendors have to tax customers?

No, craft and food vendors will not be required to tax customers.

How are businesses going to benefit from this? Small business owners are going to suffer…

The opportunity to sell at the powwow is open to all business from Akwesasne, provided they meet the criterion set forth in the vendor contract/guidelines. Issues with the Bridge tolls are no longer an issue for the Powwow Committee. Any other concerns over tolls will have to be taken up with MCA and the Seaway Bridge Authority.

How can Lamoureux Park handle an event of this size?

Yes, Lameroux park can handle an event of this size, not only for the event itself, but also the required parking needed for this event. The Powwow Committee and the city of Cornwall tourism division are working together to make sure we have adequate parking, in the past the mall parking garage was used for events of similar size.