The French burned the Mohawk villages in the autumn of 1666 and then made peace. The JESUITS established a mission and encouraged their converts to move to the St Lawrence, away from English influence, where settlements were established in the 1670s. War again broke out, and the Mohawk towns were burned in 1693, with some of the Catholic Mohawk aiding the French against their kinsmen. The entire Iroquois Confederacy negotiated treaties of peace and neutrality with both the French and English in 1701.
In 1710, three Mohawk chiefs and a Mahican journeyed to London, where they were presented to Queen Anne. To counteract French Jesuit influence, Anglican missionaries were promised to the Mohawk, and the queen presented communion silver for a chapel. Catholic Mohawk from the St Lawrence played an active role as French allies, participating in the destruction of Deerfield, Massachusetts, in 1704 and Groton, Massachusetts, in 1707.
During the 18th century the Mohawk, now living in two principal towns, became surrounded by European settlers. They adopted the housing styles of their neighbours and were closely tied to the British administration. The Aboriginal superintendent, Sir William JOHNSON, married a Mohawk, Mary BRANT. Johnson used Mohawk warriors in the final French-English conflict for possession of the continent. Johnson died before the outbreak of the American Revolution. The Mohawk joined that struggle in 1777, under the leadership of Joseph BRANT, who had just returned from England. Brant and his Mohawk frequently defeated the Americans but were forced to flee their homes, which were confiscated and used by the rebel settlers.
After the war, Brant and his followers settled on the Grand River on a grant secured for them by Governor Frederick HALDIMAND (now the Six Nations Reserve). Other Mohawk, under John DESERONTYON, settled on the Bay of Quinte. These Mohawk were largely Anglican, and the Queen Anne communion silver was divided between the two reserves. The Mohawk who settled in Ontario and those on the St Lawrence became increasingly incorporated into the White world. Mohawk from Kahnawake outside Montréal were skilled boaters and were recruited to ferry General Garnet WOLSELEY's army up the Nile in 1884-85 (see NILE EXPEDITION). In later years, men from this same reserve established a reputation as structural-steel workers.
There are close to 35 000 registered Mohawk in Canada (1996c). Over 3000 Mohawk continue to speak their traditional language. Some of them returned to the HANDSOME LAKE RELIGION and established longhouse congregations at Kahnawake in the 1920s and St Regis (Akwasasne) in the 1930s. Residents of both these communities had been Roman Catholic for some 250 years. Mohawks at Kanesatake and Kahnawake came into armed conflict with the Québec police and the Canadian Forces over land issues at Oka, outside Montréal, in the summer of 1990. Violence has also occurred at Akwesasne in a community divided over the issue of gambling.
Author THOMAS S. ABLER
Links to Other Sites
Canadian Aboriginal Writing and Arts Challenge
The website for the Canadian Aboriginal Writing and Arts Challenge, which features Canada's largest essay writing competition for Aboriginal youth (ages 14-29) and a companion program for those who prefer to work through painting, drawing and photography. See their guidelines, teacher resources, profiles of winners, and more. From the Historica-Dominion Institute.
Extensive site devoted to current and historical issues of importance to the Six Nations community.
A Heritage Minute about the Iroquois legend of the great Peacemmaker, who created the confederacy known as the League of the Six Nations. From the Historica-Dominion Institute. See also related learning resources.
Encyclopedia of Canada's Peoples
The website for the "Encyclopedia of Canada's Peoples." Click on the links for feature articles about Canada's many multicultural communities, access to their extensive digital archives collection, learning modules, and much more. From "Multicultural Canada."
The website for the Galafilm documentary series "CHIEFS," which is devoted to the life stories of First Nations leaders, including Sitting Bull, Pontiac, Joseph Brant, Black Hawk, and Poundmaker.
Languages of Canada
A comprehensive online database of languages currently in use in Canada. Also provides details about extinct languages. Check out the "language maps" for more information. Based on "Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Fifteenth edition." From SIL International, a US website.
Raid on Deerfield
A narrated history of the 1704 Raid on Deerfield and its aftermath from Native and European perspectives. Also features fascinating stories about Native societies, cultures, trade practices, and traditions. This multimedia website is from the Memorial Hall Museum in Deerfield, Massachusetts.
Four Directions Teachings
Elders and traditional teachers representing the Blackfoot, Cree, Ojibwe, Mohawk, and Mi’kmaq share teachings about their history and culture. Animated graphics visualize each of the oral teachings. This website also provides biographies of participants, transcripts, and an extensive array of learning resources for students and their teachers. In English with French subtitles.
This series is the saga of five great First Nations chiefs -- Sitting Bull, Pontiac, Joseph Brant, Black Hawk and Poundmaker. Their stories form a central drama of the history of the North American continent. Features still photos and video clips. A National Film Board website.
Virtual Vault: The Four Indian Kings
The four Indian kings first travelled to London in 1710 to meet Queen Anne as delegates of the Iroquoian Confederacy in an effort to cement an alliance with the British. Queen Anne was so impressed by her visitors that she commissioned their portraits by court painter John Verelst. The portraits are believed to be some of the earliest surviving oil portraits of Aboriginal peoples taken from life. From Library and Archives Canada.
Chiefswood National Historic Site
The Chiefswood National Historic Site, childhood home of E. Pauline Johnson. Their website features an events listing, historic images from the Chiefswood Collection, and online copies of "The Homing Bee" newsletter. Chiefswood mansion is situated on the banks of the Grand River, on the Six Nations Territory in southern Ontario.
A biography of John Norton, schoolmaster, Indian Department interpreter, Mohawk chief, army officer, and author. From the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online.
Mohawk woman ascends to sainthood at Vatican
A CBC News story about Kateri Tekakwitha, named as North America's first aboriginal saint in a canonization ceremony conducted by Pope Benedict XVI.