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A small community bands together around a Mohawk immersion school they founded to keep their language alive.

RUNTIME: 14:22

Yagorihwanirats, a Mohawk child from Kahnawake Mohawk Territory in Quebec, attends a unique and special school: Karihwanoron. It is a Mohawk immersion program that teaches Mohawk language, culture and philosophy. Yagorihwanirats is so excited to go to school that she never wants to miss a day – even if she is sick.

Yahorihwanirats’ great-grandmother, Francis Dione, was forced to not speak her language as a child. This is was what inspired her to encourage community members to create Karihwanoron – a school that would foster the Mohawk language for generations to come.

Francis’ granddaughter (and Yagorihwanirats’ mother) Wentahawi was one of the first students to attend the school.

Karihwanoron does not receive adequate financial assistance from the government – but with a little luck, creativity and the community’s support, Karihwanoron somehow always manages to raise enough money to stay open for another year. Unfortunately, this year, the school is at risk of having to close its doors. Permanently.

Credits (Click to expand)

Written, Directed & Produced by
ROXANN WHITEBEAN

Director of Photography
JOSH USHEROFF

Edited by
SUSAN SHANKS
Assistant Editor
NIK NIKOLAIDIS

Featuring
WENTENHAWI ELIJAH & YAGORIHWANIRATS SHILLING

Sound Recordist
YECINE MELIANI

Music Composer, Sound Editor & Mixer
CHRIS LEON

Musicians
Guitar and Bass
DAVE RIZK
Guitar
CHRIS LEON
Keyborads
JEREMY LEON

Online Editor and Colourist
TONY MANOLAKIS

Mohawk Language Translator
WENTENHAWI ELIJAH

Title Animation Artist
IOTSTHARATENION STACEY

Graphic Artist
KIM DELORMIER

Animator
VINECT-LOUIS APPRUZZESE

Producer’s Assistant
LAUREN MCCOMBER

Post Production Studio
REV 13 FILMS

Legal
PAUL MORISSETTE
LUSSIER & KHOUZAM

Insurance Brokers
FREDERICK AMIRIZIAN
GLOBALEX

Special Thanks
Children and Families of Karihwanoron Mohawk Immersion School
Mouchie Goodleaf
Knights of Columbus Hall
Elaine Deleronde
Kahnawake Bus Depot
Mary Armstrong
Elise Swernhorn
Lesley Birchard
Mélanie Lê Phan

Mohawk Subtitles Translation
Akwiratékha Martin

 

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