Kahnawake Legion hoists new flag

At last year’s Remembrance Day ceremony, Mohawk Council of Kahnawake (MCK) grand chief Kahsennenhawe Sky-Deer noticed that while three flags fly above the cenotaph, the Kahnawake Legion Branch 219 had only two.

The purple banner of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy was nowhere to be found, leading Sky-Deer to ask why.

“I said, well, we need a third flagpole, but we can’t afford it right now,” recalled Kahnawake Legion manager Peter “Pitt” Jacobs - the branch was in dire financial straits, and a new flagpole would cost thousands.

“For years we wanted to do that, but we didn’t have the money to put up the third pole,” he said.

With the encouragement of the MCK chiefs in attendance, Jacobs submitted a letter to Council asking for funding for a new flagpole and a brand new flag.

On Monday, the Legion finally got its longtime wish when it raised the Haudenosaunee flag alongside the maple leaf and the stars and stripes.

The support for the new pole was ultimately granted by the Finance, Administration, and Operations (FAO) Committee through its donation policy. According to MCK chief Lindsay LeBorgne, who sits on the FAO Committee, the request coincided with the need to spend several thousand dollars by the end of the fiscal year.

But this is not the only reason LeBorgne, himself a veteran of the US Navy, felt the expense was well justified.

“We lost 11 men over the years from Kahnawake, and hundreds of men and women have served in the military, so we thought it was a worthy cause to give them the money for a flagpole,” LeBorgne said.

“Every veteran’s proud to have that flag flying there, and the community members, I’m sure, are also proud to see our flag flying beside the Canadian and the American flags.”

The flagpole and three new flags cost a little over $5,000, according to Jacobs. Although the order was made in April of this year, the new equipment only just arrived.

“We would like to thank the MCK for their generosity in buying our flagpole and helping to instill more pride in the Legion,” said Jacobs.

gmbankuti@gmail.com

Marcus Bankuti, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eastern Door