I recently participated in a workshop called "Intro to Mohawk for Ally Educators" by Tekonwanyahé:sen Stacy Hill from Six Nations of the Grand River. The workshop was promoted as helping educators to feel more confident reading and pronouncing Kanyen’keha names and places.
We met on Zoom and learned the basic vowel and consonant sounds in Kanyen’keha, played some games, and learned some basic words in addition to sounding out some names.
The workshop was not only very useful in terms of giving me some tools to be able to sound out people's names with more accuracy, but it was also a lot of fun. Tekonwanyahé:sen gave us lots of opportunities to practice making the sounds, gave us good feedback, and made the learning fun and interesting.
Tekonwanyahé:sen shared that part of her path is helping people to find connections and so she has launched a new consulting business that supports Indigenous and ally educators. As it describes on the website:
HAWI is Haudenosaunee And Waldorf-Inspired. Our Name - “HAWI” is actually not a word on it’s own. In our Kanyen’kéha (Mohawk) Language, it is a suffix that can be added to a root to convey that something is being carried. We feel this is particularly fitting for our work as we “carry” many aspects of our history and culture; of teaching and learning; of building relationships with communities.
We are a community minded consulting company coaching Haudenosaunee, Indigenous, and Ally educators to take up an approach rooted in Haudenosaunee thought and philosophy, inspired by Waldorf educational pedagogy. Our reference to educators refers to everyone who feels the call of our current and future children.
There are upcoming events and workshops that might be of interest to other educators who want to bring aspects of Haudenosaunee culture and understanding into their classrooms. She is offering monthly Zoom sessions as well as in-person workshops and retreats:
A video about a Kanyen'keha immersion school in Kahnawake Mohawk Territory in Quebec: