Kaylea B.

Tyendinaga, Ontario

Kingston Regional Fair

Action Needed - Before its too Late

Our language like many other Indigenous languages is slowing disappearing and with it the culture of our people Today almost all of the Indigenous languages have disappeared across Canada. Mohawk is one of those endangered. Today in Tyendinaga we have only have a very few Mohawk speakers. If our language disappears we will lose many of the things important to our culture along with it — our ceremonies, our legends, all of the things that make our culture unique. We at Quinte Mohawk are the future of our community and we are the ones that must take action if our language is to survive. We must bring our words back.

What was the most interesting thing you learned about your topic?

I was surprised that it is not just the Mohawk language that is disappearing. It is one of many.

What important lessons have you learned that you want to share with other Canadians?

The Mohawk language is just one of many losing the battle to stay alive in Canada today. As a multicultural country Canada encourages all nationalities to celebrate both Canadian culture and their own unique identities. Language is a big part of that and all Canadians should be aware of the importance of revitalizing all of our disappearing languages before it is too late.

How would you compare your life today to the lives of those studied in your project?

Today there are very few Mohawk speakers in my community. My school and my community are taking steps to bring back our language but it is a slow process. We have a lack of resources and it is sometimes difficult to make our people see how important this is.