Mohawk Language Texts

The essays in this section explore Mohawk language texts in Huron’s Rare Book Collection. The first essay compares John Eliot’s orthography in the Algonquian language with Joseph Brant’s in the Mohawk language. It outlines the reasons for language inaccuracies, including the different sources and purposes. Through highlighting Daniel Claus’ Primer for the use of the Mohawk Children, the second essay explores the relationship between the Indian Department and the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, focusing on the continuity of their practices and initiatives. The third essay discusses European missionaries’ use of language as a colonial tool, as well as Mohawk resistance to these efforts. The missionaries’ transition from using the Mohawk language to using English for their instruction in the mid-19th century illustrates the importance of language in assimilation.

The Written Word: The Creation of Indigenous Orthographies

The Department & the Society: Government-Missionary Collaboration in British North America

Kanien’keha:ka Peoples in Canada: The 18th and 19th Century Struggle against Cultural Erosion