lucky participants of the Ase Tsi Tewa:ton Experience won
a handmade splint basket. (Left to right) Carol Lazore, Junior
Cook, Alicia Shenandoah and Peachy Skidders.
The Ase Tsi Tewa:ton (Cultural Restoration Program) gave their
Fall presentation of traditional foods, cooking demonstrations,
river and fish preservation, a medicine walk, hunting and trapping
skills and Kanien'keha lessons on Saturday, September 17, 2016.
Viewer active presentations were given by apprentices, as Master
Teachers gave rein to their apprentices to share their knowledge,
skills and Kaniehke:ha language in fishing and river use, traditional
foods and basket making, traditional medicine and healing, and hunting
The Ase Tsi Tewa:ton's (Cultural Restoration Program) main objective
is to re-establish the harmed cultural practices to the level at
which they were practiced years before the release of contaminants
into our local ecosystems.
This is year three in a four-year program and Kanetires Barbara
Tarbell, Program Director shared some of her thoughts as they prepare
for their last year for this group of apprentices, and search for
funding for another group of apprentices.
an apprentice in Hunting and Trapping, shows students how
to clean a fish. Photo by Amber Dawn Lafrance.
"Based on today and yesterday, they've progressed so far
and they have so many things to teach people. You can tell how much
they have learned. Especially in our language. Yesterday (Friday)
we had two-immersion schools visit, the Akwesasne Freedom School
and Skahwatsi:ra Program (Kanatakon School), and they did all of
their presentations in Kaniehkeha. They still have one more year
of learning. This group of apprentices will be done and we hope
to help them and support them to find something in the community
to transition into the community. We need to secure additional
funding and the goal is to bring in more apprentices and continue
for another four-year program. Everything is done now, we have set
the way, and we have the curriculum and structure. It's all there."
The confidence shown by each apprentice was remarkable as was
each presentation. The gift of teaching and the gift of learning
by each Master Teacher and apprentice is a gift to all of Akwesasne.