Three Nations Bridge Border Crossing: Tenth busiest border crossing, 2.2 million vehicles annually, 70% Mohawk
Jim Ransom currently is serving as the Director of the Department of Tehotiiennawakon (They Work Together) for the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne. Jim oversees a staff of seventeen in Economic Development, Environment, and Emergency Measures Programs. He is responsible for helping Mohawk Council achieve its economic objectives in becoming a self-sustaining community.
As a former Chief for the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe, Jim led the Council for the American side of Akwesasne for seven years, during which the community had its greatest economic growth to date. During that seven-year period, Jim headed projects bringing fiber optics broadband to the community (via a $10 million grant), and strengthened the relationship with their electricity distribution company, resulting in a new franchise agreement. He also sponsored and led the passing of a referendum creating the Community Electric Cooperative.
Jim Ransom has worked on environmental issues facing the Mohawk community of Akwesasne for the past thirty-six years. In 1978, he helped start the Environmental Program for the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe, a program that has grown to over 25 staff. Jim has worked for the Assembly of First Nations, the largest First Nation organization in Canada, as the Director for their Environment Unit. He was the first director of the Haudenosaunee Environmental Task Force, a coalition of federally and non-federally recognized (Traditional Councils) Nations of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy.
Jim Ransom served seven years as Chief of the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe. Jim has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Clarkson University. Jim has served on the New York State Environmental Board that oversaw the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Jim also served on the New York State Superfund Management Board that oversaw the cleanup of hazardous waste sites in the State. Jim has served on the EPA-Tribal Science Council. He is presently a member of the New York State Parks Commission.
Jim Ransom has been active in addressing educational issues in the community for the past twenty years. He is a former School Board member and has been instrumental in changing relationships with neighboring non-Native school districts. He is past president of the Tribe’s Education Committee and helped draft its “200-percent” Education philosophy. Jim is currently a Trustee of the Board of Directors for Clarkson University.
Jim has been a student of Mohawk and Haudenosaunee Teachings for the past thrity years. He has developed a good understanding of Western Science and Traditional Ecological Knowledge and how these two sciences can help each other. Jim has successfully applied the principles that underlie Traditional Teachings to the work he has done, including clean-up of hazardous waste sites, addressing of cultural impacts for a natural resource damage assessment site, and addressing environmental impacts from shipping on the St. Lawrence Seaway.
Jim has been happily married for the past 30 years to his wife Karla and they have two adult children. They are life-long residents of Akwesasne.