Members of Canada’s Mohawk Nation coming to Connemara to learn Irish

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Galway Daily news Members of the Mohawk Nation studying Irish in Connemara

Members of Mohawk Nation from Canada will be learning Irish in Carraroe under a new international scholarship programme.

Galway TD and Minister with responsibility for the Gaeltacht Seán Kyne and Chief Joseph Tokwiro Norton of the Mohawk Nation, today announced their shared support for a Mohawk Irish Language Scholarship.

This award, which will be administered by the Ireland Canada University Foundation, will facilitate a Mohawk Scholar from the Territory of Kahnawá:ke to attend an Irish Language course in An Cheathrú Rua each year starting this summer.

The Mohawks of Kahnawá:ke are one of the eight communities that make up the Mohawk Nation that’s found in Southern Canada and the Northern US.

Their language is an integral part of their culture, and is in a similar situation to Irish where it is used alongside English in daily life.

This scholarship will enable a Mohawk scholar to explore how the Irish language operates on a daily basis in one of the country’s strongest Irish speaking areas.

It’s hoped that this award will build connections between the people of Connemara and the Mohawk Nation, and lead to a further sharing of language, culture and community.

“I am delighted to meet with Mohawk Grand Chief Josepha Norton as we take the first step in developing a friendship between the Irish and the Mohawk people,” Seán Kyne said.

“It will be be our honour to welcome a Mohawk scholar to An Cheathrú Rua. Like the Irish, the Mohawk people are known across the world for their rich culture, heritage and language.  This new annual award will foster links between our people.”

Grand Chief Joseph Tokwiro Norton said that he saw great similarities between the Mohawk people and the people of Ireland.

“There is a great spirit, a sense of the importance of our past, of our community. There are differences to celebrate also, and in this context, I think we have much to learn from each other.”

He finished by saying that he and his people are very excited about the opportunities of this scholarship.