Onkwawenna Kentyohkwa

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Help us in our mission to revitalize the Mohawk language at Grand River!

At Onkwawenna Kentyohkwa, we teach a full-time two-year adult immersion program that enables our students to become advanced level speakers. We are now in our 20th year of operation. We currently have 21 students enrolled in our first-and second-year programs, including students from three other communities. We have been increasingly successful in recent years, so much so that our curriculum has been translated into two of our sister languages (Oneida and Seneca) and adult immersion programs are now being taught in those communities. Most of the language teachers in our community and in this region, from pre-school to university, are graduates of our program. Perhaps more importantly, a few of our graduates are now raising children to be first-language Mohawk speakers, something that hasn’t happened here in 75 years. As well, we offer an on-line program for students who can not attend full-time. (Seventy students and one Member of Parliament are enrolled.) We are also working with the National Research Council to develop a digital verb maker of our polysynthetic (complex) language. One measure of the impact we are having in our community is the Everlasting Tree School, a Mohawk-immersion elementary school that was established in 2010 by some of our graduates so their children could attend school in the language. Another measure of our success is the Mohawk Longhouse, which was formed by the graduates of our program 10 years ago as a place for us to conduct our religious and cultural ceremonies – all in our ancestral language.

While the governments of Ontario and Canada have provided some funding for occasional short-term projects, they do not provide funding for our language programs or administration. Consequently, our programs have been entirely community-funded. Our elected band council provides funding for salaries and operations and our traditional chiefs provide student bursaries. But this funding, as you can imagine, is not enough and we would greatly appreciate any donation you can offer.

You can donate to our efforts via PayPal at the button below. Note: PayPal will accept donations with a credit card even if you do not have a PayPal account: