In recognition of National Indigenous Peoples Day and 2019 being The International Year of Indigenous Languages, join us on June 22nd for a day celebrating Indigenous Languages and Culture. A children’s Indigenous art activity will start the day at 10:00am followed by a talk hosted by Joe Brown on the reclamation of Mohawk Language at 11:00am. The Kingston Indigenous Languages Nest will then be joining us from 1:00-2:30 to lead a drum circle celebrating Indigenous Language through song and music. All programs and exhibit viewings are free to attend on June 22nd. This is a drop in event, preregistration is not required and attendance can be for one or all of the programs.

The Canadian Language Museums traveling exhibit, Beyond Words: Dictionaries and Indigenous Languages, will also be on display at the L&A County Museum and available for viewing from June 18th - June 24th. Regular Museum admission applies.

The United Nations deemed the year 2019 to be the International Year of Indigenous Languages during the General Assembly in 2016. With the leadership of UNESCO (United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization), the goal was to confront the risks associated with loss of Indigenous Language, specifically focused on reconciliation, good governance, development and peace building. International cooperation has been secured by supporting the preservation of Indigenous Language through education, revitalization efforts within technology, and creating mainstream knowledge to secure international cooperation. Having set an expectation for the sociocultural reclamation of Indigenous Language, the reaffirmation of Culture and Language are at the public forefront. To raise international awareness on the importance of Indigenous Language, organizations around the world are doing their part to educate and provide opportunities to regain what has been lost. The Lennox & Addington County Museum & Archives is proud to participate in raising awareness and providing an opportunity to learn about the reclamation of Indigenous Languages. For more information on what Canada is doing for The International Year of Indigenous Languages please visit 

Indigenous Art Activity: Jessica Brant

Join artist Jessica Brant from Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, for a traditional art activity that celebrates Indigenous culture. 

Reclamation of Mohawk Language: Joe Brown

In this talk-shop we will be discussing the loss of the Mohawk Language in Tyendinaga, and how it is that we are working towards reclaiming our identity through reclamation of our language. 

You will hear firsthand how I have reclaimed my language and what the struggles and triumphs were in doing so. In addition, you will get to learn how to introduce yourself in the Mohawk Language through a language lesson.  

Joe is Turtle Clan from the Mohawk Nation at Kehnteke. Joe has been directly linked to his culture since the age of twelve. He has been a lifelong leaner of the Mohawk language; as well as, his Longhouse traditions.

He is a graduate of St. Lawrence College in the Indigenous Social Service Worker Diploma Program. Joe obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Indigenous Social Work from Ryerson University and will embark on his studies in the Masters of Social Work, Indigenous Stream through Wilfred Laurier University this fall.

Joe has been working in education since 1997 when he started teaching Mohawk to preschool aged children at the Tehatikonhsotontye Head Start Program in Tyendinaga. Throughout his career, he has taught all ages of language learners; from children to adults. He was the leading instructor for the Shatiwennakaratats adult immersion program for eight years and an adjunct professor for Mohawk language at Trent University. Currently he is working with high school aged youth at Eastside Secondary School in Belleville, Ontario, where he is the instructor for the Mohawk Program; as well as, Indigenous Liaison Counsellor. 

Joe founded Rotinonhsyonni Cultural Consulting in March of 2019. Through this work, he shares his knowledge and promotes Rotinonhsyonni culture and language with various agencies, organizations and educational institutes. He also offers counselling through one on one and group sessions using cultural and land based therapy.

Joe is the son of Sharon Hill, a turtle clan member of the Mohawk Nation. He is a brother to Tayohserontye (Nikki Auten) and Tsyawentehs (Sarah Dunkley). He and his partner, Amy, share seven children together; Cain, Dakota, Isaac, Colton, Wade, Kahyakwas and Yekaronyohs. He is a proud father and Faithkeeper for the Mohawks of Kenhteke where he lives with his family. 

Learning Language and Culture through Drum Songs 

Anishinaabemowin is the language of the Ojibwe people and part of the Algonquian language family. This program is designed for children and families to learn about language and culture through songs and games and a tasting of traditional food. No reading required. Please join us for a wonderful and fun way to explore language and culture.

Kingston Indigenous Languages Nest is a grassroots organization that promotes learning Indigenous languages and their revitalization. With the help of fluent speakers, they are reclaiming Indigenous languages and cultures through songs, games and special projects. All welcome!