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Kanien'kehá:ka (Mohawk)

The once-powerful Kanien'kehá:ka (Mohawk) Nation, member of the League of Five Nations, remains strongly attached to traditions and rituals. The Kanien'kehá:ka (Mohawk), the second-most populous Nation in Quebec, have been able to preserve their values and self-determination, despite the influence of neighboring towns.


The Mohawk language (called Kanien'kehá:ka in Mohawk) belongs to the Iroquoian linguistic family. Mohawk is a polysynthetic language, meaning that it is made up of words often consisting of parts with different meanings. Each community has its own dialect, and within each community there are also family dialects. All dialects are mutually understandable.


In Quebec, this language is spoken by three communities: Kahnawake, Kanesatake and Akwesasne. The Mohawk language is endangered. However, Mohawk remains the language used for many vital community functions, including many traditional ceremonies and meetings.


Efforts are being made to revitalize the language, including the creation of immersion and education programs for people of all ages.

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