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Media Advisory - The Eastern Door launches Mohawk language (Kanien'kéha) project with elders

KAHNAWAKE, QC, Oct. 3, 2022 /CNW Telbec/ - Kahnawake's oldest weekly community newspaper The Eastern Door launched a new language project to strengthen the Mohawk (Kanien'kéha) language by publishing stories from community elders in both English and Kanien'kéha about the community's history, culture and general life. Beginning in mid-August, the section called "Sharing Our Stories" is fighting to be a permanent fixture in the paper.

Kahnawa’kehró:non Stephen Silverbear McComber shares stories about his time at Indian day school and the impacts residential school had on the traditional language in Kahnawake. Stories were published in The Eastern Door on September 23, 2022. (CNW Group/The Eastern Door)
Kahnawa’kehró:non Stephen Silverbear McComber shares stories about his time at Indian day school and the impacts residential school had on the traditional language in Kahnawake. Stories were published in The Eastern Door on September 23, 2022. (CNW Group/The Eastern Door)

With less than 3,500 speakers worldwide, Kanien'kéha is officially endangered. The language is a key element that holds Kanien'kehá:ka (Mohawk People's) history and culture. The stories from elders range from historical accounts, explanations of words in the traditional language, retelling of cultural stories, and deeply personal anecdotes. We have spoken to residential and Indian day school survivors, those instrumental in returning education to the community in the 80s, people who lived to see the days before the St. Lawrence Seaway in the 1950s, the recounting of the Siege of Kanehsatake in 1990 (aka Oka Crisis), and more.

This ambitious project needs the support of Kahnawake's neighbours. As an endangered language, translators in Kanien'kéha are rare and in high demand. Therefore, translation costs account for a significant portion of this project's fees. We work with highly proficient Kanien'kehá:ka translators who consult elders and first-language speakers in order to create accurate and culturally-significant translations for the community.

In order to help fund the numerous costs associated with a project of this magnitude (translation, graphic design, salaries, space in the paper, etc), The Eastern Door has also launched a fundraiser to help support it financially.

Donations ranging from $10 to $100 can win you Montreal Canadiens' tickets. We also encourage people to support our newspaper with a $51 online subscription to catch up on the exciting events in Kahnawake and Kanesatake.

Joe McGregor, a respected medicine man in Kahnawake shares his insights on helping the people. Stories were published in The Eastern Door on August 12, 2022. (CNW Group/The Eastern Door)
Joe McGregor, a respected medicine man in Kahnawake shares his insights on helping the people. Stories were published in The Eastern Door on August 12, 2022. (CNW Group/The Eastern Door)

SOURCE The Eastern Door

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