An interesting article was sent to the Archives this year by Jim McVicker of Vancouver. It was published in the Napanee Beaver on July 1, 1959 and records a key event in the history of the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory: the issuing of the first cheque by the Band Council. Up to this point, as the article explains, bills had been paid by the Federal Government’s Indian Affairs Branch, through the local Indian Agents (based at the Deseronto Post Office). According to this article, the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte were the first Band to gain control of their finances in this way.

The cheque was for fire services and is being presented by Treasurer Mrs Donald (Phyllis) Green to James McVicker (Jim’s grandfather) in the photograph. James was Deseronto’s postmaster and fire chief for many years. The Deseronto Fire Department covered the town and the Territory until the establishment of the Mohawk Fire Department in the early 1970s.

Postscript, December 3, 2013: Phyllis Green was the first employee of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte. She died on December 2, 2013.

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