(people), Native North American tribe of the Iroquoian
language family and of the
Eastern Woodlands culture area. Once the easternmost
and chief people of the Five Nations of the Iroquoian
Confederacy, the Mohawk had nine delegates on the
confederacy council, three from each clan—the
Wolf, the Bear, and the Turtle. They occupied the
Mohawk River valley and were semisedentary; the women
farmed and the men fished or hunted, depending on
the season. As in other Iroquoian tribes, families
lived together in large bark-covered dwellings called
longhouses. Each community was governed by a ruling
council and a village chief.
first encounter with Europeans was in 1609 when they
fought against the French explorer Samuel de Champlain.
They were early associated with the Dutch, from whom
they bought firearms, and later most became firm allies
of the British, fighting with them first against the
French and then against the American colonists. After
the American Revolution the Mohawk took refuge in
Canada, where many have remained. About 5000 reside
on reservations at Brantford, Ontario, and at the
Bay of Quinte. They still farm, and many work in construction.
Two settlements are found in Franklin and Saint Lawrence
counties in New York State. According to the 1990
census, 15,490 people in the United States reported
being of Mohawk descent.
(people)," Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia
© 1997-2001 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
from an Algonkian word
the seventeenth century, the five member tribes of
the League of the Iroquois
of the Five Nations Confederacy (Kayanerenh-kowa,
"the great peace," also known as Kanonsionni, the
"long house") inhabited the territory south of the
St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario, from roughly
the Richelieu River and Lake Champlain to Rochester,
in what is now the State of New York.
From east to west, they were: the Mohawks, Oneidas,
Onondagas, Cayugas and Senecas.
struggle with the Hurons
for control of the fur trade largely dominated the
military history of New France from the 1630s until
the arrival of the Carignan-Salish
regiment, in the summer of 1665.
Dictionary of Canadian Biography"," G. Brown"," ed.)
of Civilization, Ottawa, Canada
Mohawk language is part of the Iroquoian linguistic
group. Around 15% of the total population of the Mohawk
Nation in Quebec speak their language.
single largest population of any First Nation in Quebec,
there are upwards of 14,735 people in the Mohawk Nation,
with more than 12,450 residents in one or the other
of the three Mohawk communities in the province. Other
communities are located in Ontario, and the United
the 16th century, the Mohawks were a member of the
powerful Iroquois confederation known as the Five
Nations, or Haudenosaunee, and their territories covered
much of what is still known as New England. Today,
there are three Mohawk territories in Quebec, one
of which straddles the borders of Quebec, Ontario
and the state of New York, and with the other two
located near the city of Montreal.
three communities that make up the Mohawk Nation in
Quebec are Kahnawake,
Mohawk reserve of Kahnawake, also known as Caughnawaga,
is located on the south shore of the Saint Lawrence
River, on the bank of Lake Saint Louis, 10 km
southwest of Montreal. The surface area of the
reserve is 5,059.17 hectares. Three highways,
the 132, 138 and 207, provide the main access
routes to Kahnawake. A gravel road network (31,610
meters), a paved road network (52,780 meters),
and more than 1,700 houses are to be found within
are nearly 8,600 people in Kahnawake, with approximately
7,000 residents on the actual territory of the
reserve. This is the single largest population
of any native community in Quebec.
is one of the three communities that make up
the Mohawk Nation in Quebec. Founded during
the second half of the 17th century, the village
of Kahnawake was moved four times before ending
up in its present location. In Mohawk, "Kahnawake"
means "at the rapids", a reference to what is
known today as the Lachine Rapids. Members of
the community were responsible for the creation
of the Mohawk communities at Kanesatake and
principal languages spoken in the community
are Mohawk and English.
community has its own band council for the administration
of local affairs.
First People, Native Trail, for much more information,
please visite their site!
Tuscarora & Six Nations Website
contains lots of information and links about the 'Six
Wampum Chronicles, a Website of Mohawk History
represents independent research into Mohawk history.
It is based on historical documentation, secondary
sources, and Mohawk oral tradition. None of the
conclusions or opinions are officially endorsed
(nor was any endorsement ever sought) by any Mohawk
government or institution.
return to index Native