The Akwesasne Freedom School
The Akwesasne Freedom School (AFS) is an independent elementary/middle school which conducts year round, full day classes for grades pre-k to grade 9. The school was founded in 1979 by Mohawk parents concerned with the lack of cultural and linguistic services available in local public schools. In 1985, the parents who administer the school made a historic decision to adopt a total Mohawk immersion curriculum. AFS was the first to implement this type of curriculum and did so without approval or funding from state, federal or provincial governments. The School was formed to help make the Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) Nation strong again. 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 Akwesasne Freedom School is dedicated to:
preserving the Mohawk language;
continuing Mohawk ceremonies, songs, dances and traditional cultural practices;
promoting the principles of good mind, peace and strength given to us by the Creator through the Peacemaker;
preparing students to be active participants in both our traditional community and Western society;
encouraging students to have pride in, understanding of and sufficient knowledge to practice Rotinonhsón:ni customs and promote cultural values;
teaching students to be responsible, independent and hold a positive self-concept at the same time they display respect for others, especially Elders and the knowledge they possess;
preparing students to be teachers of future generations
The Akwesasne Freedom School prepares Mohawk children to live in the world with confidence as they carry on the Kanien’kéha culture. We combine solid academics with a strong foundation in the Kanien’kehá:ka culture, which is rich in symbolism and pride. The United States constitution is based on the very system of government from which these teachings originate.
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