Akwesasne cautions residents over ‘new’ CBSA agents

In this December 22, 2014, file photo, a minivan heads toward the toll booth at the foot of the north channel bridge in Cornwall, Ont. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

AKWESASNE – The tension between Akwesasne Mohawks and the Canada Border Services Agency still percolates below the surface as evidenced in the latest cautionary note from the band.

The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne issued a release to community members Monday afternoon about four “new” CBSA guards at the Cornwall port of entry.

“These guards have not yet received cultural sensitivity training and their line of questioning may be intrusive,” reads the statement in part.

According to the letter, cultural sensitivity training likely wouldn’t happen until the spring.

In the meantime, the MCA is urging members to report “any and all items purchased in the U.S.” and any complaints to their office.

The relationship between the CBSA and Akwesasne has been rough since 2009 after the port of entry was moved from Cornwall Island to the city after a federal initiative to arm border guards came to a head.

Since that time, Cornwall Island residents who have headed across the U.S. border to get to Snye or St. Regis, Que. have had to come to Cornwall to check in with CBSA before returning to the island.

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