kanienkehaka

Official poster for the short film, STOLEN, about Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women in Canada. It talks about how the system plays a part in the disappearances of our girls and poses the question of who is doing this. Niawenhkó:wa to all of the supporters who made this short film possible - we are extremely grateful to the people that donated and believed this story needs to be told. We have submitted to various film festivals, fingers crossed that we get in.

anonymous asked:

Do you have any resources about Mohawk people? I'm mostly looking for what medicines and methods that they used to treat injuries and sickness. And what other indigenous people of North America were there?

I don’t, but I can put something together right here. All the links below contain the information about them and what you’re looking for. Though some topics are a little more difficult to find sources on. If there’s something that you really want to know, than I suggest contacting an actual Native American, specifically a Mohawk to ask.

They do have official websites and locations you can visit such as a museum and/pr online communities that you can ask. Even on Tumblr, you may be able to find someone to discuss it with (via Diversity Cross Check). If not, there’s Reddit: Native American (Reddit: Indian Country - By Native, About Natives & The Americas) and many Native American authors that are open to educating and/or assisting you to write accurate, non-stereotypical and non-colonialist mindset portrayal of Native American characters.

Mohawk Language

Medicines

As for other indigenous people of North America I’ve included the sources that contain that information.

For over 5 months these two siblings have been without their own private space, forced to couch surf and stay in precarious, short term housing options. With winter quickly approaching this cycle can not be endured any longer. The constant instability, lack of having a place to cook/store food, or even gain privacy away from the ongoing and unending settler colonial violence faced by these two Inuk and Mohawk 2 Spirit and trans visibly native siblings. They have no place to rest, recover or exercise any form of self-determination over their environment or mental health. Struggling with disability (mental health and chronic pain/mobility related) throughout this precarity has been a feat.

Having exhausted all of their personal networks and still unable to find secure affordable housing, these two vulnerable youth are reaching out for help. We are looking for a short term (but not a high turn around - packing up and moving every few days is traumatizing, demoralizing, exhausting and resource-heavy) emergency housing offer where they could catch a breath and strategize for a winter affordable housing solution.

They are very responsible, clean, polite and caring however are in a heightened vulnerable state after having suffered several traumatizing racist events from constant verbal/street harassment, racist gawking and targeted assaults (that at times escalate beyond verbal abuse) and it must be stressed that privacy and security are the upmost priority at this time. A place to cook, store food, and 2 closed door, safe and secure sleeping arrangements are being sought. No animal allergies, just animal love.

If you have ways to support please contact Iakotsirareh Amanda (savagefemme@gmail.com) who is taking on coordination. Please do not directly message the siblings, who are in a vulnerable state, about logistics related to their houselessness. All inquiries and offers can be made through Iakotsirareh. If you have means to financially contribute, please EMT or PayPal to: Aqiggiqa@gmail.com, ramentwinster@gmail.com

Wow! This is a picture of Joseph Thawennaieri French. This plaque memorializing him (along with 32 additional Kahnawake Mohawk men) as he died during the collapse of the Quebec bridge during construction in 1907.

His brother Stephen Oronhiatekha (translated ‘burning sky’) French is my great-great-Grandfather.

Now I know my great-great-great-Grandparents’ names because of this memorial. History lives in places & people. I cannot thank Akwiratekha Martin enough for guiding me to this & helping me understand the Kanienkeha names.

I keep seeing posts on appropriation of “Mohawk” hair saying that this hairstyle has been falsely attributed to the Mohawk nation / Kanien'kehá:ka and is actually Pawnee. There is all this weird back and forth and conflicting information between non-Mohawks, (often settlers, because of course) and I want to clear some stuff up. 

The biggest flaw that’s causing confusion is this insistence that each nation had one hairstyle that everyone had. Not the case. Like any culture, each individual has their own variations on how they present themselves. Trends fluctuate over time as well. We didn’t just start existing when we contacted settlers. While it’s great that people are at least trying to view us as individual nations, I think that viewing native stuff in this simplistic, frozen in time way is still othering and coming from the “noble savage” perspective.

“Our ancestors wore several styles to their liking. According to our oral traditions one historian said there was a warrior who also had a strip down the middle shaved out. The majority shaved our heads in some way. We valued the length of hair for its strength, spirituality and power.” - Mohawk historian Arnold Printup.

And yes, the hairstyle was popularized among white people to intentionally mimic the stereotype. It’s not this coincidence that you can be like "but what about the ancient Scythians” especially because you are literally calling it a “Mohawk.” When I say that I am a Mohawk, people get confused because they instantly think of the hairstyle. If I google my nation, I just get pictures of white people (and tacky white people at that.) Do you see how this is erasure and part of an oppressive system? 

It’s considered an edgy / rebellious style because it was appropriated to capitalize on the scary savage warrior that white people are afraid of. When you wear your hair that way, you are aligning yourself with being a warrior. Very few white people have any concept of what being a warrior means. It’s seriously significant, especially in a modern context where Mohawk warriors are one of the first lines of defence in land claims disputes in which the military has occupied Mohawk territories, as well as taking on other acts of genocide by the settler states of the US and Canada. Being a warrior means actively taking a particular, important role in Mohawk society.

The flag is the Mohawk Warrior Society / Rotisken’rakéhte flag.

These are Mohawk warriors in 1990:

image

So please if you are feeling like pissing off your parents or want to look fierce and rebel against oppression, do your fact checking, Instead of ripping off PoC, do some serious activism in your community and take inspiration from our warriors to challenge colonialism, homophobia, misogyny, etc. Don’t just do a shallow coopt of people who have actually fought and died for the strong image that hair represents.

Non-native cultural appropriation bloggers, please don’t write off “Mohawk” hair as less serious, assuming it doesn’t have serious cultural significance. Please don’t fall into any of the traps of simplifying the issue because I have seen so many problematic explanations from well-meaning people. When in doubt, ask a Mohawk!

It was an armed insurrection… We didn’t know what was next. Our police had been defeated & all we heard about was roaming Mohawks with guns. We thought this could be our version of hell—the city shut down, the police in retreat & the Mohawks standing on top of police cars with their AK-47s held high above their heads.
—  A top-level aide to premier Bourassa, Oka Crisis, 1990

Sewatahonsiyohst! Listen closely all of you!

Great Kanienkeha (Mohawk) weekly radio show out of Kahnawake. Rarely do we get to here to beautiful flow and cadence of our original language!

Kanien'keha talk show originally broadcast on K103.7 FM and sponsored by the Kanien'kehá:ka Onkwawén:na Raotitióhkwa Language and Cultural Center. Kahnawake Mohawk Territory

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