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What is it like for a Mohawk child to live in Quebec today? 

Read the story of *Ka-Tsi-Tsa-No-Ron a Mohawk from the Kahnawake reserve just outside of Montreal to find out.

(*Pronounced Ga-tsee-dza-no-roonh. It means ‘precious flower’.)

Story written and photographs taken by Shelley McComber, Teacher at Kateri School. Thanks to the students and their parents for their participation in the photographs.

 

A Day in the Life of Ka-Tsi-Tsa-No-Ron

On a regular school day I get up at 6:00a.m. and go take a shower. I get dressed in my school uniform that my mother has ironed for me. After I get dressed, I blow dry my hair and I’m ready to go and eat breakfast with the rest of my family.

My mom asks me what I want for breakfast, usually I like to eat cereal. In minutes she then tells me I only have a little while until my bus comes and to hurry up. I eat my breakfast, go brush my teeth and then get all the things I’ll need for my day at Kateri School. I’m ready to go catch my bus.

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I talk to some of the neighborhood kids while we wait for the bus. I get on the bus and sit in an empty seat, my friend gets on at the next stop. When my friend gets on we talk about what we are going to do at the Youth Center after school today. I like to go there because there’s always something to do.

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When I get to school I go to my locker, get my homework out of my backpack and put it away. I go in my class and hand in my homework, check in and put my uniform shoes on. I talk with my classmates until my teacher tells us it’s time to start our day.

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My school day starts at 8:00a.m. We usually read and then do work in our student books and sometimes our grammar books. We have French class everyday at 9:30 for 1 hour. We have Mohawk and Phys.Ed classes every other day. My favorite subjects are Mohawk, gym and Math.

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I usually go to the Youth Center after school. It’s right across the street from my school. I like it when they have contests and games. Sometimes I go into the gym or art room. When I go to into the computer lab I play games on CD’s or I surf the Net.

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When it’s 5:00 my mom comes to pick up my sister and I, then we go home. My dad gets home from work and we all eat supper. My favorite meals are spaghetti and meatballs, pizza and chicken. I have to help with the dishes and then feed my cat.

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After all my chores are done I go to do my homework. First I do my spelling, then my math, and then my reading and response. I don’t like having to do reading and response. I also have to study my timetables and spelling words, because I have a test every Friday.

Once all my homework is done I can watch TV, I have hockey practices on Wednesday nights and my games are on the weekend. On one of these days I get a treat and go to McDonald’s before practice or after my game even if my team loses.

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Around 8:00 I start to get tired, so I wash my face and hands, brush my teeth and put my pajamas on. I still have some time before I have to be in bed, so sometimes I call a friend, or I watch music videos or play a video game.
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I sometimes read or if no one else is using the computer, I use it to practice what I am learning at the computer lab at school.

When I’m ready for bed I say goodnight to my mom and dad and go to my room, shut the lights and get into bed, pull my covers over myself and close my eyes. Before I know it, my mom is calling me to wake up. This is a typical day for me when I’m in school.

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In the summer I like to sleep in and do lots of things with my free time. I go to the Onake Paddling Club on my bike.
When I get there I take out a boat with some of my friends and it’s fun.
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Paddling Club

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Sometimes I go to the town pool to swim, or I go to the lacrosse rink.
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Lacrosse Rink

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If I get a chance I go to play golf with my mom. Sometimes my whole family will go to the mall to see the latest movies.

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Golf Club

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On the weekends if the Senior or Junior Lacrosse team is playing at the Sports Complex we go to watch.
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Sports Complex

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Every July the whole town comes out to the Annual PowWow. I like going to watch the dance competitions and try the different foods. The best thing I like about the PowWow is getting to see some of my friends from school that I haven’t seen since school let out in June.

I am a 9 year old Mohawk, I like to learn my language and listen to legends of my people. I like to learn about my culture and take part in the ceremonies and festivals that we celebrate to give thanks to our mother the earth. Nia:wen for reading my story.

 

French if available (si disponible)