Karihwanoron: Precious Things

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Sep 21, 2016
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A Mohawk immersion school, founded by the community to keep their language alive.

Yagorihwanirats, a Mohawk child from Kahnawake Mohawk Territory in Quebec, attends a unique and special school: Karihwanoron 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.

Translation for Kanien'kéha/Mowhawk subtitles by Akwiratékha Martin.
 
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