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St. Regis Mohawk Reservation in Franklin County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Akwesasne (AH kwey ZAH sney)

An Enduring Native Culture

 
 
Akwesasne (AH kwey ZAH sney) Marker image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, November 9, 2014
1. Akwesasne (AH kwey ZAH sney) Marker
Inscription. Cultural Heritage- Ancient cultures flourished on abundant natural resources along the Seaway Trail.
First Inhabitants
Native people have lived here for thousands of years, using the natural resources found on land and in water. Akwesasne is one of several Mohawk communities today, three of which are located along the St. Lawrence River. Lifestyles have changed from hunting and gathering to agricultural village life to modern times, yet our appreciation for the land and water remains. Several environmental departments within Akwesasne work to protect the natural resources for future generations.

The confluence of the four rivers provided a productive ecosystem for food, and travel and transport corridors.

Settlement Patterns
While these lands have been part of Mohawk territory for thousands of years, Akwesasne has been continuously settled since 1752 when a group of people from the Mohawk community of Kahnawake built a mission church at the confluence of the St. Regis and St Lawrence rivers.

Native Culture
The people of Akwesasne have a rich and complex culture that includes traditional ways of life alongside contemporary innovations. The traditional artistic skill and talent that we are most known for is basket making. Utilitarian and decorative baskets are made from
Left Detail - Akwesasne Marker image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, November 9, 2014
2. Left Detail - Akwesasne Marker
black ash splint and sweetgrass. Other traditional arts include beadwork, carving, and cornhusk dolls, sewing and leatherwork. Our arts and culture are intertwined, working together to carry the knowledge of our ancestors and elders into the future.

Black Ash and Sweetgrass
Black ash splint is used for weaving pack baskets and decorative 'fancy baskets'. Sweetgrass, a tough but delicate grass, makes an excellent material for decorative and tightly woven baskets. Color was added by using dyes from natural sources.

European Contact and Conflict
One of the first recorded contacts bewteen Europeans and Kanienkehaka (Mohawk people) was in 1534 as Jacques Cartier explored the St. Lawrence River Valley. The contact ushered in an age when dealing with European influences on trade, warfare, disease, religion and politics became our greatest challenge.
The rich resources of the new world were the source of conflict between European countries, resulting in wars that disrupted and divided native communities. Despite the upheaval the Mohawk culture and traditions endure.

Sturgeon. The fertile river valleys provided for agricultural harvests to supplement fish and game.
The dense forests provided game and raw materials for shelter, baskets, and other utilitarian items. Whitetail Deer.

Modern Times
Akwesasne is a vibrant
Center Detail - Akwesasne Marker image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, November 9, 2014
3. Center Detail - Akwesasne Marker
community that includes strong ties to its history and a rich appreciation of our Native culture, alongside an aptitude for adapting to change. The daily challenges of modern times are faced with the knowledge that our ancestors have given us a legacy of strength and survival.

Nation Timeline
(BCE- Before Common Era)
(CE- Common Era)
2000 St. Regis Mohawk Tribe and local industries plant 3,800 black ash trees.
1990s Clean-up of contaminated sites begins.
1987 The first environmental protection program in Akwesasne is established.
1970s Farming and fishing are greatly reduced by pollution from nearby industries.
1958 Over 20,000 acres of land and the Long Sault rapids are flooded in the development of the St. Lawrence Seaway.
1820s Passenger pigeons become extinct due to over-hunting by non-natives. The Rotinonhsonni have a passenger pigeon dance that is continued to this day.
1700s Many Rotinonhsonni adopt the single-family log cabin as living quarters.
1534 Jacques Cartier explores the St. Lawrence River Valley, beginning an age of contact, conflict and commerce with European settlers.
1000 CE Living in villages with large gardens replaces the mobile lifestyle of hunting and gathering.
4,000 BCE 1,500 BCE Deer was the main source of meat. Other mammals, birds, fish, nuts, and shellfish were also eaten.
End of Ice
Right Detail - Akwesasne Marker image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, November 9, 2014
4. Right Detail - Akwesasne Marker
Age First human occupation of this region. Spruce forests and open steppes cover the land.
The timeline is on the shape of the Great Tree of Peace, a symbol of the original Rotinonhsonni government, also called Haudenosaunee or Iroquois Confederacy.

Seaway Trail, Inc. Corner Ray & West Main St., Sackets Harbor, NY 13685. www.seawaytrail.com . America's Byways. This project was funded in part by the Federal Highway Administration and administered by the New York State Scenic Byways Program of the New York State Department of Transportation and Seaway Trail, Inc.
 
Erected by Seaway Trail, Inc.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Great Lakes Seaway Trail National Scenic Byway marker series.
 
Location. 44° 58.72′ N, 74° 41.623′ W. Marker is in St. Regis Mohawk Reservation, New York, in Franklin County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of New York State Route 37 and Library Road. Click for map. Marker is at the apex of the loop road to the front door of the Akwesasne Library, Museum, and Gift Shop. The marker faces the building. Marker is on the north side of NY 37 generally midway between the hamlet of Hogansburg and the NY 37 bridge over the Raquette River. Marker is at or near this postal address: 321 NY Route 37, Hogansburg NY 13655, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers.
Sign Facing Westward Traffic Along NY 37 image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, November 9, 2014
5. Sign Facing Westward Traffic Along NY 37
Back of marker at center by the tree.
At least 8 other markers are within 16 kilometers of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Empire State (approx. 4.2 miles away); Eisenhower Lock (approx. 7.7 miles away); Lost Villages of the St Lawrence (approx. 8.8 miles away in Canada); War of 1812 (approx. 15.5 kilometers away); On This Site was Built in 1812 a Blockhouse (approx. 15.5 kilometers away); a different marker also named War of 1812 (approx. 15.6 kilometers away); Fort Covington (approx. 15.6 kilometers away); This Memorial is Dedicated by the Town of Ft. Covington (approx. 15.6 kilometers away).
 
Also see . . .
1. St. Regis Mohawk Reservation - Wikipedia. (Submitted on November 30, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.)
2. St. Regis Mohawk Tribe. (Submitted on November 30, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.)
 
Additional keywords. Saint Regis Mohawk Reservation, St. Regis Mohawk Reservation
 
Categories. Colonial EraNative Americans
 
Eastward on NY 37 at Library Road image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, November 9, 2014
6. Eastward on NY 37 at Library Road
Akwesasne Marker image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, November 9, 2014
7. Akwesasne Marker
NY 37 in background; at Libary Road behind marker.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York. This page has been viewed 220 times since then and 8 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on , by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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