Mohawk Indians: Past and Present

Essay by ctannahillCollege, UndergraduateB+, May 2008

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The Mohawk Nation is a Native American tribe of the New York area. They were a sedentary tribe who practiced agriculture in the harsh northeast climate. The primary crops were corn, squash, and beans. The Mohawk were skilled trappers who took advantage of this skill when the Europeans arrived in their area. The tribes worked with other tribes to achieve better relations with other Native Americans and Europeans. This included a constitution and treaties with Americans and Canadians.

The modern day Mohawk Nation has tried to keep their culture and their land. The nation of the Mohawks once covered a large area of New York, Ontario, and Quebec. Present day Mohawks mainly live on three reservations. The tribes on these reservations are the Akwesasne, Ganienke, Kahnawake, Kanesatake, Kanatsiohareke, Six Nations, Tyendinega, and Wahta (Mohawk Nation Council of Chiefs, 2007).

The tribe deals with many modern day problems that are similar in nature to the issues of the United States as a whole.

Education is a concern for the tribe. The main issue of education is the focus on retaining their culture and obtaining the level of education needed in today's society. Their answer to this problem was to found the Akwesasne Freedom School. This school was founded in 1979 by parents of the tribe for children in pre-k through eighth grade (Mohawk Nation Council of Chiefs, 2007). Besides the basic studies the curriculum focuses on culture beliefs and also includes a Mohawk language immersion program.

Another concern of the Mohawk nation is the disputes of land ownership in their territories. The tribes of many areas in the New York and Canada area are fighting to keep rights to land that were allotted to them centuries ago. According to Connie Kidd, (2007) after the American War of Independence, during which...