Long before Europeans came to North America, the Mohawks lived and thrived on the land that now forms the border between northern New York and Canada. That border now splits the Mohawk Nation territory of Akwesasne in two.
While the Southern border has made headlines, the border to the north is nearly as active, with millions of crossings a year, smuggling, trade disputes and asylum seekers heading both north into Canada and south into the United States in search of a better life.
Canada and the United States seem similar at first glance, so is life in the two countries really that much different? For dairy farmers, maple syrup producers and marijuana entrepreneurs, the answer is most certainly “yes.”
Border residents reflect on how the past continues to shape their hometowns, from the urban renewal that seeks to revive tourism in the Niagara Falls region to the “river rats” who smuggled alcohol across the Saint Lawrence during prohibition.
Dozens of Newhouse School students deployed to New York’s border with Canada to report stories about the people, cultures, businesses and landscapes at the edge of two nations.
Asylum-seekers, many French-speaking U.S. immigrants, have steadily been traveling to a rural road north of Plattsburgh, New York, in search of a safe haven in Canada.
The positive early returns from Ontario’s first 10 pot shops encapsulate the optimism many people have for the future of the industry.
Some Mohawk parents prefer to send their children to the U.S. or Canada for secondary school, while others advocate for a high school at Akwesasne.
Tourists have flocked to Niagara Falls for decades for entertainment and the beauty of its landscape. Yet the area struggles to recapture its former glory.