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VISION MAP

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All these efforts are the ‘seed sowing’ for our next seven generations to come. It is up to us to re-learn how to live within and upon the natural territories of our ancestors.  Our plans to come home, are part of this ‘seed sowing’ of dreams:

Our dream to return to our homelands. Our dream to raise our children surrounded by language speakers. Our dream of clean foods, clean water, healthy soil and sustainable living. Our dream to have a school where our children are not just in classrooms, but are active members of a living community, working together, learning the old ways of balance and reciprocity. 

We have come to the point where our dreams are becoming a reality, manifesting quickly as we work with friends, allies and supporters to give it form and shape.  This is the moment we have been waiting for…. for so very long.  

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PLANTING-THE-SEEDS HEALING CENTER &  THE SCHOHARIE LONGHOUSE

When people hear the word “reservation” they usually don’t think of communities that have turned into cement and concrete suburbs with limited green spaces, but that is the reality in many of our communities. Our people have lost the healthy lands they need to continue living in alignment with nature. When we organize our ceremonies and healing on the reservation, many of us no longer have a place or space that would suffice to transmit our ancestral knowledge, which is learned directly through land-based teachings. Our dream, which is the dream of our ancestors, is to bring our people back to our homelands in the Schoharie Valley, where our great-great-grandmothers came from.

To fulfill this mission, Kanerahtiio Roger Jock began the construction of an educational Kanónhses (Longhouse) at Kahonrakén:ra (the White Spout Waterfall) in the Schoharie Valley. The Longhouse marks an initial point of return to our ancestral lands and is a place of community outreach and teaching about the Great Law of Peace and how to come to one mind around the environment and the challenges that we are facing on the planet at this time.  


The word Schoharie in our language (Kanien’keha/Mohawk) comes from the word Skóhare, meaning to cleanse or wash.  The Kahonrakén:ra Waterfall situated on Panther Creek in Schoharie is that place of cleansing, where we can heal from muti-generational traumas and historical injustice and regain the resilience we need to truly thrive. Many of our prophesies have come to pass, and the prophecy of return is now at the cusp of manifestation.  


Under the direction of Kawenniiosta Jock, our plan is to build a healing center on the 13 acres where the Longhouse stands. We have just bought our first yurt, handmade by indigenous tribes in Mongolia to house our healing workshops. We are just completing the construction of the platform and will be raising the yurt the beginning of November. Our first workshops will begin soon after. 
The purpose of the Planting-the-Seeds Center for Spiritual Health is to establish a space where our elders and youth can find healing and re-learn our ancestral ways of knowing, speaking and living.  Through these efforts we will build a solid foundation upon which our next seven generations can stand; and where cultural identity and Indigenous knowledge are at the core of our healing process.     
The Center will provide a physical place, as well as an emotional and spiritual space, to invest and mobilize ourselves directly in this work. It will offer our elders and youth a safe environment where spiritual work is welcomed, recognized, and encouraged as Indigenous ways of knowing, learning and teaching. 


The establishment of the Center is the beginning of a return we have been waiting on for centuries.  There, we will restore our connection to our land, language, and cultural identity; and address intergenerational trauma through ceremonial healing practices that re-activate the memories stored in our DNA. Moving back to the Schoharie Valley would not only strengthen our cultural identity, but will allow us to exercise our sovereign rights on the land, in our language, and through our ancestral beliefs and practices.  

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THE FARM & LANGUAGE CENTER

As part of a landback effort of community supported reparations, we are about to close on a 60-acre working fruit and berry farm located five miles from the educational Kanónhses (Longhouse) & Healing Center.  It is in the heart of the Schoharie Valley, which is known as the most fertile valley east of the Mississippi.  The farm will be the economic hub of a vibrant, resilient community dedicated to the teaching of our original lifeways.

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For the summer of 2023,  the path towards developing a language immersion summer camp for our youth and young families who will experience living on the land while working at the berry farm has begun.   We are currently working on securing a language teacher who will be able to reside at the farm durning the summer season as a pilot for year-round language immersion.

 

There will be teachings around medicinal plant identification, foraging and harvesting; as well as making natural products, jam, jellies, medicines, salves, syrups, etc.   All daily activities will all be taught, worked, and played in the Kanien’keha language.  It is a practice of reciprocity in action.  

 

From this summer experience, we will expand to provide a year-round language immersion program for families and youth living on the land. We will also provide educational programs for visiting relatives from sister territories and intend to offer workshops throughout the year on topics pertaining to: healing through Ohèn:ton Karihwatehkwen, rites of passage, medicinal herbs, ceremonial songs, ceremonial speeches, symbolism in beadwork and art, environmental issues, meditation practices, and medicine societies.  We will also begin a seed saving initiative and bring this ancient regenerative practice back to our farm, our youth and our people.

Teaching our language is one of the most important keys to the decolonization of our peoples.  Through all the initiatives proposed here, our language is one of the central pillars of our return to our cultural ways of living and learning.  The revitalization of our ancestral culture requires us to know our language fluently. As we return to environmentally sustainable ways and practices, our language will hold the keys to many teachings that have been misunderstood or almost completely lost.  

The move back to the Schoharie Valley through the establishment of the farm, Language and Healing Center will be the foundation of decolonizing ourselves as Kanien’kehá:ka. The Valley offers a clean environment, with clean air, water, and land, which is critical to our healing.  This is where we can reconnect to our ancestors, and our original instructions stemming Kaianere’kó:wa (the Great law of Peace). In our new community we will re-establish our traditional governance, our clan systems and our old ways of deliberation and consensus, just as our ancestors practiced.

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RIGHTS OF PASSAGE CAMP

In 2021, a 6.5 acre parcel of land about 15 miles from the Longhouse was donated to the Waterfall Unity Alliance for use as a Rights of Passage camp for our youth and men. It is adjacent to 2400 acres of state forest, and our plan is to work with Janet Hawkes on a forestry management plan for biodiversity and wild foods, and return the land to indigenous stewardship.  

The land has a hunting camp on it, which will require renovation and repair, but it is a beautiful and remote piece of property, which is perfect for our ceremonial needs. 

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BUILDING THE COMMUNITY

Our most urgent need for building a larger community is to provide housing to people who are wanting to leave the reservation to come to join our Schoharie community.

 

Although the farm is able to house a few workers, it is in the flood plain and is not suitable for a building a village of homes. Additionally, since it is prime farmland, it should be used for regenerative farming, not for housing development.  Our plan has always been to farm in the flats and try to find land in the hills that would be suitable to establish a larger Kanien’kehá:ka community.  

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We have found a 240 acre property just 4 miles from the berry farm that would be an ideal place to build housing for our community. 

It is out of the floodplains with ample space to grow an eco-village based on original teachings and lifeways. It has a 1 acre spring fed pond, barns, a well, electricity, and a central house that can be used as a community kitchen. We are planning tiny house village to begin the community, with more permanent houses built as people arrive and establish themselves.  As new homes are built, the tiny homes will be used to house visitors and/ or new arrivals.

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RESPONDING TO NEED & REALIZING THE DREAM OF RETURNING HOME

The solutions and projects we have outlined are 100% responsive to the urgent needs of our communities.  Our land in Akwesasne is polluted by the largest PCB dump in North America. Many of our communities on the other side of the border are fully assimilated into a suburban city life with no wild land left. 

It has been a long-held dream of our people to return to the valley known as Schoharie or Skóhare in our original language.  In this place of renewal, we have raised a Longhouse built in the old ways next to a sacred waterfall which has called us back to cleanse and fortify our spirits. Skóhare is a place of still-wild forests and rivers, where our people can heal as we re-occupy our ancestral lands and re-claim their identity.  

 

The Center for Spiritual Healing, Longhouse, Berry Farm, Rights of Passage Camp, and future eco-village community will be safe places to share culture and language as we welcome our people home.

To fully implement our vision of a thriving sustainable community, it is also essential to re-educate our people on the ways of modern, best practice and carbon negative technologies and align them with our ancient knowledge of Indigenous land management and cultural restoration.  

Some of the practices that are central to our mission are: permaculture design, seed saving, wild food foraging, soil building and soil cleaning with hemp and other microbes, carbon sequestration using biochar and other methodologies, eating seasonal foods, restoring traditional food systems, composting, forest management, and sustainable building practices.

All these efforts are the ‘seed sowing’ for our next seven generations to come. It is up to us to re-learn how to live within and upon the natural territories of our ancestors.  Our plans to come home, are part of this ‘seed sowing’ of dreams:

Our dream to return to our homelands. Our dream to raise our children surrounded by language speakers. Our dream of clean foods, clean water, healthy soil and sustainable living. Our dream to have a school where our children are not just in classrooms, but are active members of a living community, working together, learning the old ways of balance and reciprocity. 

We have come to the point where our dreams are becoming a reality, manifesting quickly as we work with friends, allies and supporters to give it form and shape.  This is the moment we have been waiting for…. for so very long.  

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