Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $2 million in federal funding for the Akwesasne Tourism Working Group. The working group will receive $400,000 for the first year, and a total of $2 million over the next five years. The funding was allocated through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Administration for Native Americans (ANA) Sustainable Employment and Economic Development Strategies Program (SEEDS).The Akwesanse Tourism Working Group will use the federal funds to promote tourism, employment opportunities and economic development through their new Creating Akwesasne Tourism Industry Businesses and Jobs initiative.
“These federal funds will give the Akwesasne Tourism Working Group the opportunity to support tomorrow’s tourism industry and local business owners right here in the North Country,” said Senator Schumer. “This smart, multi-million dollar federal investment will support entrepreneurship and the creation of good-paying, middle-class jobs through the area’s burgeoning tourism industry for residents across Franklin County and its surrounding areas.”
“This award will allow the Akwesasne Tourism Working Group to make a long-term investment in tourism, job creation and economic development,” said Senator Gillibrand. “The Creating Akwesasne Tourism Industry Businesses and Jobs initiative will help stimulate economic growth in the region and showcase the community for visitors in the North Country.”
“This grant will support the collaborative work of the Akwesasne Tourism Work Group who are helping guide the development and implementation of the Akwesasne community’s tourism initiative,” said the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Council. “In cooperation and coordination with community stakeholders, the funding will address the unique challenges and opportunities for Akwesasne in developing a tourism industry that will provide employment, economic development and other benefits that reach beyond our community’s boundaries.”
“Diversifying our economy is a priority for the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe. We are currently expanding our broadband technology, investing in agriculture and developing a cultural tourism industry in Akwesasne,” stated Christopher Thompson, Director of the Office of Economic Development for the Tribe. “We celebrate our current achievements and look forward to more successes as we develop this industry. The impact that this will have on the North Country economy is significant in terms of business development, job creation, and tourism from visitors coming to the region. This award is a culmination of effort from local stakeholders within the Akwesasne community and has been led by Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe’s Community Planner Lindsay Tarbell. Together we will transform the way we invite, treat, and engage visitors to the North Country.”
The Akwesasne Tourism Working Group is comprised of the Native North American Travelling College, Akwesasne Cultural Center & Museum, Onkwehon: We Arts Council, Mohawk Nation Council of Chiefs, Akwesasne Area Management Board, Mohawk Council of Akwesasne (MCA), and Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe.