INDIGENOUS LANGUAGE FORUM- LANGUAGE LEARNING, DOCUMENTARY SCREENING, PANEL DISCUSSIONS, MOHAWK SINGERS/ Performance, BBQ & SILENT AUCTION of Original Native Made Arts & Crafts*
The story of the Akwesasne Freedom School will be presented by Konwanahktotha Elvera Sargent, Snipe Clan member of the Mohawk Nation of Akwesasne .
As most are aware 2019 has been declared the International Year for Indigenous Languages by the United Nations. It is also happens to be the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Akwesasne Freedom School (AFS). AFS has offered important contributions to the resurgence of Indigenous languages throughout North America and has served as a model for various Indigenous Nations in rebuilding their languages and cultural practices. It is a model for
Konwanahktotha has worked for the language revitalization movement since 1995 and has dedicated her life’s work to the AFS and the Mohawk language and culture.
Kontiwennenhá:wi- “Carriers of the Words” is a traditional women’s group from the Mohawk Nation Territory of Ahkwesahsne. The group is made up of young women, mothers, aunties and grandmothers.
The singers to be present at the presentation at Governor’s Island are: Kahentision (Elizabeth Nanticoke) and her two daughters Iawentas and Tekowakwenni members of the Singing Society that have always functioned to help community members in time of need. Both Iawentas and Tekowakwenni are graduates of the AFS and are current teachers of the school.
They proudly share songs and teach children so that we may honor everything that is natural to us. Through our songs we honor our Mother the Earth, our Grandmother the Moon, our Grandparents from every generation, the teachers of the Mohawk language, the Great Law of Peace, and more.”