Creating Speakers and Documenting Our Oral Legacy at Six Nations of the Grand River

All six of the Hodinohsyo:ni languages (Mohawk, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, Seneca, and Tuscarora) are critically endangered, with few first language speakers remaining. Recognizing that action is required to ensure these vitally important languages are both preserved and stabilized, Six Nations Polytechnic embarked on the first phase of a 3-year Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) grant to create a new group of Advanced-level second-language speakers of Cayuga. The project follows up on a 2016 study, also conducted by SNP and funded through an OTF SEED grant, that identified sustained instruction in an immersion environment as the best pathway for creating proficient adults. As Six Nations of the Grand River territory has an on-reserve population of 14,000 and multiple school level programs, online language programs and adult immersion programs working toward revitalizing language, it is hoped that the project will benefit the members of the Six Nations of the Grand River community and Cayuga language speakers for generations to come, as the graduates will leave the program being able to speak in Cayuga for most situations encountered in day-to-day life. These speakers will also be involved in the documentation process of the remaining first language Cayuga speakers, of which there are less than forty. Ultimately, the project is meant to be another push towards creating speakers with high proficiency in Cayuga, so that it can be transferred to the next generation of language learners, speakers and creators.

Pathways to Creating Speakers of Onkwehonwehneha at Six Nations

This published report contains the results of a year-long study conducted by Six Nations Polytechnic at Six Nations of the Grand River Territory from March 22nd, 2016 to February 2nd, 2017. The study titled, "The Path to Creating A Critical Mass of Onkwehonwehnéha Speakers at Six Nations of the Grand River Territory" was made possible through an Ontario Trillium Fund grant and support from Six Nations Polytechnic and the Six Nations Language Commission. Key study findings indicate the path to creating a critical mass of speakers of a Rotinonhsyón:nih language focus on building the language proficiency of individual language learners through adult immersion programs with 3600 hours of contact time or the equivalent of 4 years of full-time study to successfully move them through the five stages of Language Acquisition using a structural-functional syllabus, interactionist and communicative approaches to second language instruction, the use of ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interviews and Guidelines to track speaking proficiency, and encouraging language use extending beyond the classroom into real community interactions and functions.

Six Nations Language Commission

President Jamieson serves on the Six Nations Language Commission which administers significant funding for community based language revitalization. This linkage is consistent with SNP’s role in language revitalization, which further strengthens community planning and cohesion for language revitalization and overall contributions to enhanced language revitalization outcomes.

Preserving Haudenosaunee Language and Ceremonies through the Digitization and Translation of the Hewitt Collection

This SSHRC funded project, in partnership with McMaster University, concluded in the summer of 2013 and has left a lasting legacy for future language and culture revitalization work. For more information on this project, please visit the Research portion of our website. Associate Professors Will Coleman, Daniel Coleman, Rick Monture, Theresa McCarthy, Susan Hill and Dawn Martin-Hill contributed to research and project development throughout the year.

Summer 2012 Summer Language and Culture Camp for Families Program

This camp funded through Six Nations Welfare targeted families with children aged 5 to 12 years old and their parents. Camp leaders used the family learning model to engage participants in language and cultural activities in both Gayogoho:no’ and Kanien’keha.

SNP Woodland Cultural Centre - Collaborative Archival Development Project

Funded for two years by the Ontario Trillium Foundation to catalogue Mohawk, Cayuga and Onondaga language and culture archives. SNP is a community partner with Cayuga: Our Oral Legacy (COOL) AKA "The CURA Project". The official SSHRC title for this project is “Cayuga Language Maintenance”, but the partners call it COOL. The website is The COOL project is developing invaluable resources for use in language programming and facilitating the overall language development of emerging speakers.

Internationalization of Indigenous Rights and Governance

May 31 2013 - Wilfrid Laurier University, Six Nations Polytechnic, and the University of Saskatchewan collaborated on a research project on the Internationalization of Indigenous Rights and Governance. This project is funded by a research grant from the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) to study the impact of international institutions and global governance documents in promoting legislative protection and culture survival for Indigenous peoples. Indigenous and non-indigenous scholars engaged in critical dialogue concerning the global economy, the internationalization of Indigenous rights, the effectiveness of international instruments, and their implementation in local and global settings. This was the first interdisciplinary meeting of the project. This meeting will be followed by international teleconferences and will culminate in a June 2014 international forum at CIGI. 

Bi-Cultural Science

The Deyohahá: ge: Indigenous Knowledge Centre begins exploring the natural sciences from both Indigenous and western perspectives in this curriculum project entitled Bi-Cultural Science. Please contact us for more information on this project.

War of 1812

Over the summer of 2012, the Deyohahá: ge: Indigenous Knowledge Centre worked in partnership with the Six Nations Legacy Consortium and experienced educators on a curriculum development project. The goal of this project was to develop lesson plans on the War of 1812 from an Indigenous perspective.