Akwesasne welcome sign in New York state.

Images from the Akwesasne Mohawk Nation

September 2014 - February 2015.

The Akwesasne Mohawk Nation is a sovereign indigenous community located over the US and Canadian border. This 33-square mile reservation has been the subject of repeated violations of sovereignty by both the US and Canadian government. For decades, Akwesasne has fallen under scrutiny due to its lucrative geographic location for outside gangs and organized criminal organizations to exploit its sovereignty and smuggle goods across the border. This clandestine economy continues to draw the attention of both the US and Canada and therefore, in their eyes, justifies the violation of tribal sovereignty. Akwesasne is a beautiful and politically complex place, one that can never be fully articulated in only eight months of research. As this project grew, so did the collaboration between myself and members of the community. This project would not be possible without individuals letting me into their lives to help me document their land and community, and I'm honored to be considered their friend.  I have since produced a working prototype of a book I will continue creating over the next year.

Sign by the St. Lawrence River indicating territory.
Rollies, bags of cigarettes purchased in Akwesasne.
Sign on Cornwall Island.
Empty billboard on the outskirts of Akwesasne.
Sign claiming territory on New York side of Akwesasne.
Long road in Akwesasne.
The abandoned IGA in Akwesasne.
Broken Arrow Gas Station in Akwesasne.
An image of a sign on Cornwall island, before the Canadian Border crossing.
Trailer near the banks of the St. Lawrence River.
Image of bags of rollies, purchased n Akwesasne.
Image of Bear's Den gas station sign, on the New York State side of Akwesasne.
Image of cigarettes lined up on the bank of the St. Lawrence River.
Plowed fields, on the outskirts of Akwesasne.

Images from book prototype and exhibition at the Thierry Goldberg Gallery in New York, NY.

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