An Enduring Native CultureCultural Heritage- Ancient cultures flourished on abundant natural resources along the Seaway Trail. First InhabitantsNative people have lived here for thousands of years, using the natural resources found on land and in water. Akwesasne is one of several Mohawk communities today, three of which are located along the St. Lawrence River. Lifestyles have changed from hunting and gathering to agricultural village life to modern times, yet our appreciation for the land and water remains. Several environmental departments within Akwesasne work to protect the natural resources for future generations. The confluence of the four rivers provided a productive ecosystem for food, and travel and transport corridors. Settlement Patterns While these lands have been part of Mohawk territory for thousands of years, Akwesasne has been continuously settled since 1752 when a group of people from the Mohawk community of Kahnawake built a mission church at the confluence of the St. Regis and St Lawrence rivers. Native Culture The people of Akwesasne have a rich and complex culture that includes traditional ways of life alongside contemporary innovations. The traditional artistic skill and talent that we are most known for is basket making. Utilitarian and decorative baskets are made from black ash splint and sweetgrass. Other traditional arts include beadwork, carving, and cornhusk dolls, sewing and leatherwork. Our arts and culture are intertwined, working together to carry the knowledge of our ancestors and elders into the future. Black Ash and Sweetgrass Black ash splint is used for weaving pack baskets and decorative 'fancy baskets'. Sweetgrass, a tough but delicate grass, makes an excellent material for decorative and tightly woven baskets. Color was added by using dyes from natural sources. European Contact and Conflict One of the first recorded contacts bewteen Europeans and Kanienkehaka (Mohawk people) was in 1534 as Jacques Cartier explored the St. Lawrence River Valley. The contact ushered in an age when dealing with European influences on trade, warfare, disease, religion and politics became our greatest challenge. The rich resources of the new world were the source of conflict between European countries, resulting in wars that disrupted and divided native communities. Despite the upheaval the Mohawk culture and traditions endure. Sturgeon. The fertile river valleys provided for agricultural harvests to supplement fish and game. The dense forests provided game and raw materials for shelter, baskets, and other utilitarian items. Whitetail Deer. Modern Times Akwesasne is a vibrant community that includes strong ties to its history and a rich appreciation of our Native culture, alongside an aptitude for adapting to change. The daily challenges of modern times are faced with the knowledge that our ancestors have given us a legacy of strength and survival. Nation Timeline (BCE- Before Common Era) (CE- Common Era) 2000 St. Regis Mohawk Tribe and local industries plant 3,800 black ash trees. 1990s Clean-up of contaminated sites begins. 1987 The first environmental protection program in Akwesasne is established. 1970s Farming and fishing are greatly reduced by pollution from nearby industries. 1958 Over 20,000 acres of land and the Long Sault rapids are flooded in the development of the St. Lawrence Seaway. 1820s Passenger pigeons become extinct due to over-hunting by non-natives. The Rotinonhsonni have a passenger pigeon dance that is continued to this day. 1700s Many Rotinonhsonni adopt the single-family log cabin as living quarters. 1534 Jacques Cartier explores the St. Lawrence River Valley, beginning an age of contact, conflict and commerce with European settlers. 1000 CE Living in villages with large gardens replaces the mobile lifestyle of hunting and gathering. 4,000 BCE 1,500 BCE Deer was the main source of meat. Other mammals, birds, fish, nuts, and shellfish were also eaten. End of Ice Age First human occupation of this region. Spruce forests and open steppes cover the land. The timeline is on the shape of the Great Tree of Peace, a symbol of the original Rotinonhsonni government, also called Haudenosaunee or Iroquois Confederacy. Seaway Trail, Inc. Corner Ray & West Main St., Sackets Harbor, NY 13685. www.seawaytrail.com . America's Byways. This project was funded in part by the Federal Highway Administration and administered by the New York State Scenic Byways Program of the New York State Department of Transportation and Seaway Trail, Inc.
|Placed By||Seaway Trail, Inc|
|Marker Condition||No reports yet|
|Date Added||Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014 at 9:02am PST -08:00|
|UTM (WGS84 Datum)||18T E 524148 N 4980626|
|Decimal Degrees||44.97866667, -74.69371667|
|Degrees and Decimal Minutes||N 44° 58.72', W 74° 41.623'|
|Degrees, Minutes and Seconds||44° 58' 43.2" N, 74° 41' 37.38" W|
|Driving Directions||Google Maps|
|Closest Postal Address||At or near 1-99 Library Rd, Hogansburg NY 13655, US|
|Alternative Maps||Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap|
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