Mohawk language circle aims to strengthen identity

Under the Aboriginal Languages Initiative, a language circle in Tyendinaga Territory in Ontario hosted workshops for Mohawk-language speakers from seven communities to discuss cultural topics and record a lexicon for future generations. Listen to Bonnie O'Sullivan's report.
Mohawk language workshops recorded by the Tsi Kionhnheht Ne Onkwawenna Language Circle in Tyendinaga Territory aim to capture a lexicon of common words and phrases for future generations. Bonnie O'Sullivan reports. 3:42

The Tsi Kionhnheht Ne Onkwawenna Language Circle in Tyendinaga Territory received $43,080 for a language project from the Aboriginal Languages Initiative, a Canadian Heritage program.

The money went towards hosting and recording two, three-day workshops where first- and second-language speakers from the seven Mohawk communities in Canada gathered to discuss cultural topics.

Follow the money

A series on 2013 federal spending announcements by students from the Carleton School of Journalism.

Read more from the series and explore the data here.

The initiative will hopefully keep the Mohawk language alive for generations to come as many of the fluent speakers age, said the organizers, Nathan Brinklow and Callie Hill.

The two sessions will produce a recording of the discussions and a lexicon of common phrases and words that will be available to all the participating communities.

Listen to Bonnie O'Sullivan's audio report.

Aboriginal Languages Initiative

Here is a breakdown of projects that received funding from the Aboriginal Languages Initiative from Canadian Heritage’s Aboriginal Peoples’ Program. This information is from Canadian Heritage press releases:

Tyendinaga Territory, Ont.

  • Announced Oct. 8, 2013
  • Recipient: Tsi Kionhnheht Ne Onkwawenna Language Circle (TKNOLC)
  • Received $43,080.
  • Two, three-day language sessions where first and second language Mohawk speakers gather to record discussions of cultural topics and common idioms, phrases, and frequently used words.
  • News release

Bridgewater, Nova Scotia

Kamloops, British Columbia

  • Announced Aug. 30, 2013
  • Recipient: Lii Michif Otipemisiwak Family and Community Services Society
  • Received $75,028 from multiple programs under the Department of Canadian Heritage, including: the Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage program and the Aboriginal Languages Initiative, and Aboriginal Women’s Programming Element of the Aboriginal Peoples’ Program.
  • Project description: A six-day immersion excursion for youth
  • News release

Kenora, Ontario

  • Announced July 5, 2013.
  • Recipient: Bimose Tribal Council.
  • Received: $67,099.
  • Project description: seven nine-day language immersion camps to 84 adults.
  • News release

Dauphin, Manitoba

  • Announced June 24, 2013.
  • Recipient: Dauphin Friendship Centre.
  • Received: $41,516.
  • Project description: The Dauphin Friendship Centre will expand its current language instruction program and will provide 463 hours of interactive language instruction to 163 people.
  • News release

Riverton, Manitoba

  • Announced June 10, 2013.
  • Recipient: Riverton and District Friendship Centre.
  • Received: $23,457.
  • Project Description: The Friendship Centre will offer Oji-Cree and Saulteaux language instruction during a summer day camp and a community language and culture course.
  • News release

Selkirk, Manitoba

  • Announced June 4, 2013.
  • Recipient: Selkirk Friendship Centre.
  • Received: $15,750.
  • Project Description: The Friendship Centre will offer three hours of classes per week for each language (Cree, Ojibway, and Michif) over an 8-week period.
  • News release

Bonnie O'Sullivan is a 4th-year journalism student at Carleton University in Ottawa. This story is part of a project by the Carleton School of Journalism on federal spending announcements in 2013.