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Kahnawake Survival School

Story told by: Joe Deom
Written by: Melissa Stacey, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Translation by: Sahawisó:ko’ Arquette

We established the school over the weekend. The students called it Survival School because it was for the survival of our language and culture.

Philip Deering set up the school schedule. He must have worked on it for like 24 hours straight. We started school the following Monday.

We used any building that was available; the Golden Age Club, the Moose Club. Kids were travelling all over from class to class. It went on like that up until Christmas.

 

Kahnawake Survival School students in 1978 during the first year of the schools existence PHOTO Courtesy Kanienkeháka Onkwawénna Raotitióhkwa Language and Cultural Center

 

In the meantime, we negotiated with the government for money to build a school. It wasn’t until almost Christmas that we finally received some money.

We bought six tower buildings. They were prefab construction buildings and we set them up just west of the Golden Age Club. I had laid out where the buildings would go and had the water and sewer installed…

 

H Gordon Greene left and Baba John Curotte right demonstrate the shearing of a sheep to a farm basics class during the early days of Kahnawake Survival School PHOTO Courtesy Joanne McGregor

 

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