Indigenous Knowledge Guardians

Female student in library

On December 15, 2008, Six Nations Polytechnic held a ceremony to confer the title of Professor of Indigenous Knowledge to five wise and accomplished persons who contributed to preserving, promoting and imparting the centuries-long knowledge developed and nurtured in our community. Recognizing individuals in this way has now become a tradition at SNP. The individuals are formally recognized as  Eihwanǫ́sdá:s (Ca.)  or  Yerihwanonstats (Mo.)  (Indigenous Knowledge Guardian).  This term is linked to the concept of rafters for protection – so this is someone who protects the matters – all of our concerns. 

The Indigenous Knowledge Guardians are recognized as our experts and knowledge authorities within their areas of expertise. They have spent a lifetime of learning about our traditional ways and how to talk about them in our languages. They are the people we all go to when we need a ceremony done, need to know about our history, need to know about our traditional practices and have demonstrated a life-long commitment to the acquisition of Indigenous Knowledge from within the Hodinohsó:ni’ traditions. They have also demonstrated a commitment to passing on Indigenous knowledge to the next generation, living through the principles of the Good Mind, and are fluent language speakers.

The Indigenous Knowledge Guardians contributions have been foundational to SNP’s ability to offer programming in language revitalization, including the Honours Bachelor of Arts in Ogwehoweh Languages and the Bachelor of Arts in Ogwehoweh Languages, and to actively participate in language revitalization and cultural recovery occurring in Six Nations of the Grand River territory and other Hodinohsó:ni’ communities.

Six Nations Polytechnic acknowledges the need to focus on teaching authentic Indigenous knowledge (values/world views) and languages. This will not involve teaching sacred practices and ceremonies as these are matters taught in our traditional learning environments.

SNP extends our gratitude to the Indigenous Knowledge Guardians who have selflessly supported our efforts.  

Below is a list of Indigenous Knowledge Guardians and the year they were recognized: 


  • Tom Deer, 2010
  • Ariel Harris, 2010
  • Leroy Hill, 2013
  • Amos Key Jr., 2015
  • Elva Jamieson, 2015


  • Ima Johnson, 2008 – April 20, 2019
  • Lottie Keye, 2008 - December 25, 2017
  • Hubert Skye, 2008 - October 2016
  • Frances Froman, 2008 - July 13, 2010
  • Evelyn Bomberry, 2008 - December 13, 2010
  • Nora Carrier, 2010 - October 2016
  • Arnold General, 2010 - April 2016
  • Manuel Johnson, 2010 – August 18, 2022
  • Alfred Keye, 2010 – September 14, 2022
  • Jim Styres, 2010 – August 29, 2018
  • Germaine General-Myke, 2013 – June 17, 2023
  • Betty Henry, 2015 – October 31, 2018
  • Art Johnson, 2015 – March 8, 2021
  • Gloria Sky, 2015 – March 12, 2021