Native Folk Singer-Songwriter Atsiaktonkie (ah-jeeak-doon-gee-ay) will be donating half of the proceeds from all CD sales to the Akwesasne Freedom School, which without funding could result in the Mohawk language and culture diminishing completely.
“The children that attend Freedom School are the last chance for our language, culture, and history to stay alive,” says Atsiaktonkie. “Proceeds from CD sales will help pay teachers and make necessary repairs to the school. If Freedom School closes and doesn’t expand we could be faced with our way of life being lost forever.”
Akwesasne (the land where the partridge drums) is located on the St. Lawrence River in upstate New York. The school was founded in 1979 by Mohawk parents who were concerned that their language and culture would slowly die. The Akwesasne Freedom School is a Mohawk immersion school for grades pre-kindergarten through six and a transition school for grades seven and eight, which combines solid academics with a strong foundation in the Mohawk culture. The school is run by tribal citizens and supported by the Mohawk Nation government as an effective way to not only reclaim education, but also to maintain Mohawk language, history, identity, and sense of nationhood.
“We need to teach our children our language and culture to ensure that the next generation will have their ways and happiness,” says Atsiaktonkie. “The children are our future speakers, tribal citizens, and leaders.”
Atsiaktonkie’s “Four Wolves Prophecy” CD can be purchased locally at CKON Radio, The Bear’s Den, Nation Bookstore, Wild Bill’s, #9 Truckstop, Kanienkehaka Fuels, and at www.atsiaktonkie.com.