Akwesasne, NY On Ohiarihkó:wa/July 8, 2016, the Saint
Regis Mohawk Tribal Council presented the Tribe's annual contribution
in the amount of $100,000 to the Akwesasne Freedom School. The amount
is dispersed in two payments of $50,000 during the year to support
the school's Mohawk language immersion instruction. "The
preservation and strengthening of the Mohawk language, culture and
traditions are important to our community because of the values it
provides and instills in our youth who are the foundation of our future,"
said Tribal Chief Eric Thompson. "The Freedom School continues
to be an integral part of what makes Akwesasne distinct and unique,
as a community and as a people."
Regis Mohawk Tribal Chief Eric Thompson and Chief Beverly
Cook were proud to present the Tribe's annual contribution
of $100k to the Akwesasne Freedom School (AFS) on Ohiarihkó:wa/July
8, 2016. Receiving the check on behalf of AFS was Friends
of the Akwesasne Freedom School Manager Elvera Sargent, a
non-profit organization that helps support the school.
The Akwesasne Freedom School (AFS) is a full Mohawk language
immersion school that offers year-round instruction for grades pre-k
to grade nine. It was founded in 1979 at Racquette Point by Mohawk
parents who expressed concerns with local public schools, at that
time, lacking cultural and linguistic services. As a result, the
school offers a culturally based curriculum to ensure Mohawk people
do not lose their identify through the loss of their language.
"We are pleased to continue the Tribe's support of
the Akwesasne Freedom School and all it has accomplished through
the years," stated Tribal Chief Beverly Cook, who accompanied
Chief Thompson in presenting the donation to Friends of the Akwesasne
Freedom School Manager Elvera Sargent, a non-profit organization
that helps support the school. Chief Cook noted, "We realize
the school's importance and appreciate the amount of time and
effort that families put into operating and raising funds for the
The Akwesasne Freedom School is dedicated to preserving the
Mohawk language, continuing Mohawk traditional cultural practices,
promoting the principles of Kaníkonri:io (good mind), Skén:nen
(peace) and Ka'shatsténhshera (strength). It helps prepare
students to be active participants in both our traditional community
and contemporary society by encouraging students to have pride in
Rotinonhsón:ni customs and values.
"The Freedom School plays a critical role in ensuring that
our Mohawk students have a solid foundation and identify,"
said Tribal Chief Ron Lafrance Jr. He added, "My father would
be very proud knowing that the school he helped form in 1979 is
continuing to do their utmost in helping to keep our Mohawk language
alive and our culture practices strong."
Graduates of the Akwesasne Freedom School achieve what one 1970s
Mohawk education leader termed a "200 percent education"where
they have a 100 percent Mohawk education and a 100 percent mainstream