The Akwesasne Freedom School (AFS) was founded in 1979 by Mohawk parents concerned with the lack of cultural and linguistic services available in local public schools. As an independent elementary school, AFS has existed on a shoestring budget for over 25 years. In 1985, the parents who administer the school made a historic decision to adopt a total Mohawk immersion curriculum. It was a historic decision. AFS was the first to implement this curriculum and did so without approval or funding from state, federal or provincial governments. By focusing on our young people, we reverse the assimilation process and ensure that the Mohawk people do not lose their language, culture and identity.
The school continues to immerse its students in levels Pre-K to 8 in the Kanienkéha (Mohawk) language and culture. All instruction, as well as recess periods, outdoor activities, field trips, meals and extracurricular activities are conducted in the Mohawk language.