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Celebrate Akwesasne Artists

August 26, 2023 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Included with Admission
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Meet a variety of Akwesasne Mohawk artists and artisans—from painters to storytellers, basketmakers to beadworkers—and learn more about creative expression and cultural traditions.

Event Programs

Traditional & Original Songs & Social Dances with the Akwesasne Women’s Singers


Main Campus Tent

“Kontiwennenhá:wi, which is translated as Carriers of the Words, is a women’s singing group that originated from the Mohawk Nation at Ahkwesashsne. Kontiwennenhá:wi is made up of young women, mothers, aunties and grandmothers, who all work full time as teachers, social workers, students, and retirees. Kontiwennenhá:wi hail from Ahkwesahsne, a Kanien’kehá:ka Territory that straddles the St. Lawrence River and incorporates portions of northern New York and southern Ontario and Quebec. In the spirit of this traditional role, Kontiwennenhá:wi, the Carriers of the Words, have embraced the “duty to help our language survive…. We believe that if our language dies, so will we as a Nation. Without our language we will have no culture. “We proudly share our songs and teach children so that we may honor everything that is natural to us. Through our songs we honor our Mother the Earth, our Grandmother the Moon, our Grandparents from every generation, the teachers of the Mohawk language, the Great Law of Peace, and more.””


Story Telling with Tonia Galban

11:00am & 2:30pm

Marion River Carry Pavilion

Tonia Loran-Galban (Akwesasne Mohawk, Bear Clan) is a storyteller, utilitarian basket maker, bead worker, and an herbalist. Her storytelling of plants, animals-two & four legged and winged, earth and sky takes the audience back to a time in Haudenosaunee culture when entertainment, values and lessons were shared through stories.  Tonia has shared at many different museums such as the Rochester Museum & Science Center, Seneca Nation Museum, Akwesasne Museum and many schools and festivals of New York State. She is a Partner with Ganondagan state Historic Site as a traditional basketmaker artist in residence through the Creatives Rebuilds New York grant.


“We Are River People” Presentation by Marjorie Kaniehtonkie Skidders

12:00pm & 3:30pm


Marjorie Skidders will share how photography was a turning point in her life and how she uses it to express her love of family, the Mohawk people, and her environment. She’ll share her views on the healing aspect of waters that surround us and how her photography expresses that healing. Marjorie will include information on giving thans through the Thanksgiving Address – Ohenton Karihwatehkwen.

Marjorie Kaniehtonkie Skidders is a member of the Bear Clan of the Mohawk of Akwesasne. Marjorie has come full circle in her career as an artist, starting out with a bachelor’s degree in art and turning that into a 25-year career in education. After retiring, Kaniehtonkie has returned to her roots as an artist focusing on writing and photography. Marjorie focuses on portraying Mohawk life through her photos stating, “We are still completing our traditional ceremonies, still struggling, still celebrating life, still speaking our language – we are still here.” Kaniehtonkie is a proud Ista of four children and eleven grandchildren. Kaniehtonkie is currently editor of Indian Time Newspaper located in the Akwesasne Mohawk Nation Territory.


Artist Demonstrations

10am – 4pm

Main Campus, Tents

Featured artists:

Sheila Ransom, Master Fancy Basketmaker

Carrie Hill, Fancy Baskets

Glenn Hill, Luthier

Wilma Cook Zumpano, Beadwork

Marjorie Skidders, Photography

Yvette White, Painting

Margaret Jacobs, Metalwork

Angello Johnson, Baskets