Chapter 1. Indigenous Interruptions
1. Mohawk words and place- names have been harmonized as much as
possible to official phonetic and lexicographic conventions. What
was once Caughnawaga, Kahnawake, Akwesasne, has been changed
to “Kahnawà:ke,” “Ahkwesáhsne” and so on, to reflect this. I am
grateful to Teyowisonte Deer of the Kanien’kehá:ka Onkwawén:na
Raotitióhkwa Language & Cultural Center for help with this.
2. I know of two women that have done ironwork, one Abenaki and one
Iroquois, but neither from Kahnawà:ke.
3. There are many popular and scholarly accounts of this journey. See
Joseph Mitchell 1959 [1949] for the most popular account. For a
sociological and largely quantitative study of this, see Bruce Katzer
1972, 1988; the paradigmatic documentary High Steel, directed by
Don Owen (1965); and Spudwrench: Kahnawake Man, directed by
Alanis Obomsawin (1997).
4. Joseph Mitchell “The Mohawks in High Steel,” in Apologies to the
Iroquois: With a Study of Mohawks in High Steel (1949), ed. Edmund
Wilson (New York: Random House, 1959), 3
5. The Kahnawake Mohawks use the older spelling of the community
(revised from “Caughnawaga”) and are part of the Iroquois Lacrosse
League. They have won the prestigious “Presidents Cup” Senior B
Lacrosse Tournament six times in their 13 year history.
6. There are eight PhDs: Political Science (Gerald [Taiaiake] Alfred),
Educational Psychology (Kahawi Jacobs), Educational Administration
(Frank Deer), Public Health (Treena Delormier), Religious Studies
(Christopher Jocks and Brian Rice), Anthropology (myself), Interdis-
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