The Akwesasne Task Force on the Environment (ATFE), a community based, grass-roots organization, was formed in 1987 to address the environmental problems facing the Mohawk Nation community of Akwesasne.

The mission of the Akwesasne Task Force on the Environment is to conserve, preserve, protect and restore the environment, natural and cultural resources within the Mohawk territory of Akwesasne (see map) in order to promote the health and survival of the sacred web of life for future generations and to fulfill our responsibilities to the natural world as our Creator has instructed.

The Akwesasne Task Force on the Environment (ATFE) has been actively advocating the permanent clean-up of toxic waste sites bordering the community. We have begun a letter writing campaign to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to argue for an adequate clean-up at General Motors. We have worked to educate the community about the impacts of toxic substances on the environment and human health and have sought the assistance of technical experts from surrounding universities.

The ATFE works to develop sustainable economic alternatives so that the culture and environment of Akwesasne can be preserved. Ongoing projects include such things as developing small and large scale aquaculture projects, establishing black ash, fruit and nut tree plantations and utilizing greenhouses to safely grow food in a polluted environment.


The Mohawk Nation at Akwesasne has been forced to bear a disproportionate share of the negative environmental impacts that have resulted from the operation of neighboring industries . For this reason, environmental problems at Akwesasne are very much environmental justice issues. Because of environmental pollution, the traditional economies of the Mohawk people have been all but destroyed.