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July 13, 2013

Tribe to host environmental gathering

AKWESASNE — Federal officials will meet at Akwesasne with leaders from all Indian tribes in New York about ecosystem issues.

The 17th-annual Indian Nation Leaders meeting, hosted by the St. Regis Mohawk Tribal Environmental Division, will be held July 23 to 25 at the Akwesasne Casino Resort.

The leaders of the Six Nations of New York and the Shinnecock Nation of Long Island will attend, along with representatives from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

This year’s meeting will cover the environmental impacts that PCB contamination from the former General Motors plant and Alcoa has had on the reservation.

“Our goal is to ultimately protect our land, water and resources,” Ken Jock, the environment division’s director, said in a news release.

Attendees will tour sites around Akwesasne that will showcase its diverse wildlife and wetlands.

“To have EPA visit locations within our community is a big advantage for us this year,” Jock said. “Sometimes, you need to see the area versus just reading about it in a report.”

The Indian leadership has met since 1995 to build stronger relationships among the tribes and to address mutual concerns.

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