New project at Kahnawake newspaper aims to preserve Mohawk language

The Eastern Door newspaper, based in Kahnawake, across the river from Montreal, is undertaking an ambitious project that aims to preserve the Mohawk language.

The project, with support of the Local Journalism Initiative, is called “Sharing Our Stories”. According to Concordia University researcher Simona Rosenfield there are fewer than 3,500 Kanyen’kéha speakers left worldwide.

For decades, the newspaper has made efforts to “replant” the language, its editor says. For example, the newspaper has long published a Mohawk words page for readers. More recently, it started producing stories written in Kanyen’kéha.

Steve Bonspiel, editor of the Eastern Door, recently appeared on CTV to talk about the project. You can watch his full interview here.