Kahnawake elects first ever female Mohawk Council Grand Chief

In Saturday's Mohawk Council of Kahnawake (MCK) elections, Kahsennenhawe Sky-Deer became the first woman elected grand chief in the community's history.

Sky-Deer served as a council chief for 12 years and garnered 573 votes defeated fellow council chief Gina Deer who received 368 votes for the top post at the council table.

Sky-Deer said before the election that she favoured a return to a more traditional council, a long-standing wish of many in the community.

She added that she will take office as the community, like many Indigenous communities across the continent reflect, mourn and respond to recent discoveries of unmarked children's graves in former residential school sites in Canada.

"Our community right now is in a very sad state with all of the recent discoveries of these children across Turtle Island (North America)," said Sky-Deer.

The community also voted for the 11 council chiefs who make up the rest of the MCK. Six incumbent council chiefs were reelected and five were elected for the first time.

Sky-Deer is an active member of the LGBTQ2S community and lives with her wife in the community.

She succeeds late Grand Chief Joe Norton, who died last August while in office. Norton held the position from 1982-2002, and returned to politics in 2015 when he was reelected.

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