A Voice from the Eastern Door

Culture / Words From The Wise


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  • Life and Times of Venita Loran

    Sesi King|Apr 19, 2018

    Venita "Shaiawennatonti" Loran was born March 4, 1931. Her father was Monroe Williams and her mother was Mary Oakes. Venita's siblings are Gloria Crouse, Velma Jocko, Dwayne Williams, Gloria Halbritter, and Rudy Williams. Venita's sister Velma named Sunrise Acres, because the sun rose so vividly where she lived. Venita's husband was Daniel Loran; the eldest of his family and now deceased since 1982. He was a Superintendent for the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe Water Works. Together they had three child...

  • Life and Times with Elizabeth Oakes

    Sesi King|Apr 12, 2018

    Elizabeth King Oakes "Konwarihonienni" was born on September 14, 1939. Arisawe's parents were Paul King and Theresa Curry and paternal Grandparents were Jake King and Marion. "My grandparents on my mother's side were Jake Curry and Catherine Smoke. Aunt Josephine had four children: Sarah Lazore, Dave Curry, Mary Herne and Florence Cook. They were my cousins," she said. During that part of the familial history, the Curry name is no more after the death of Arisawe's cousin David. So here is some o...

  • New York State Fair, Syracuse ...Indian Village/Indian Day with Kenneth Thompson

    Sesi King|Aug 14, 2014

    Kenneth Thompson, now 79, has been involved with the NY State Fair for about 32 years. For many years he had driven his mother Katie Thompson (basket maker) to the fairs. She was very actively involved with the State fair for many years also, until her passing just a few years ago on opening day at the fair. Ken also has two brothers, Harvey and a late brother Vincent. It was interesting to find out that each brother chose a different service to join. Kenneth went into the army while nearly the...

  • "In four years, he saw the world"...Elder Tom White

    Sesi King|Jul 31, 2014

    Tom White is a very interesting man who lives midway between Kanatakon and Tekashonkarorens, a place nicknamed as "Bulldogs Hill". He is the son of James (Tom) and Sarah Tarbell White, along with four sisters and two brothers. Three of his siblings are already deceased (Kay, Martha and Charlie) and surviving are Trudy, Bev, and David. He has a daughter, Lynn, and two grandchildren. Tom is proud of her in her chosen career and happy that she doesn't live too far away. Tom also has a stepson...

  • Dick Peters

    Sesi King|Jan 31, 2013

    Richard Tahakie Peters was born on September 1, 1925. His place of birth, he claims was disputed between Ontario and Quebec due to the nonexistence of records. According to family knowledge, he was born in Tsisnaihne by a midwife. Richard’s mom was Harriet (Agatha on certificate) and his father was Mitchell Peters (Tahanientaien). His siblings, including him, added up to 5 girls and 5 boys. Richard’s wife was Ella and they were married almost 53 years. They had two daughters, Lynn and Ker...

  • Leona Cook

    Sesi King|Jan 17, 2013

    Leona Cook is our elder for this week’s Indian Time spotlight. She is such a fantastic young lady of 82 years. Leona was born in 1930 in the family home on St. Regis Road and resided in Ahkwesahsne along with her parents Thomas Bero Sr. and Hattie (Cook) Bero with siblings; Esther (Burnham), Mary (Barr), Irene (Monture), Thomas and Ray Bero, and Eva (Emmi). Later on in her life she would get to know her two half sisters: Mona and Phyllis. During our pleasant visit, Leona didn’t recall gro...

  • Allen David Edward Jock Sr.

    Lacy Arquette|Dec 20, 2012

    Allen David Edward Jock Sr. was born March 15, 1941 in Smith Falls, Ontario. He is the son of Elizabeth and Jacques Jock. He has one sister Eileen and a brother Francis, who have both passed on. Allen is a traditional and spiritual Indian; his Mohawk name is Tekahion:hake, which means Two Rivers. He didn’t learn his traditional ways from his parents, but from others in different communities. He settled in Tonawanda for 14 years before coming to Akwesasne in the 1970s. He was married but got d...

  • Peter Sunday

    Samantha McMillon Wilkinson|Nov 8, 2012

    Peter Sunday was born at home, a little house with no rooms just an upstairs and downstairs, in Snye in 1938. His parents were Joseph Basil Sunday and Cecilia Cook-Sunday. In all, he had 3 sisters and two brothers, however, many of them passed very young. He grew up in Snye and went to the old one room Snye School, and back then there was no such thing as school buses. After the deaths of so many of their children his parents moved to Syracuse. Peter lived with his aunt and uncle Mary Oakes and...

  • Akwesasro:non Celebrate Their Golden Anniversary

    Ian Oakes|Sep 27, 2012

    Recently, Joellene and Roy Adams celebrated their golden wedding anniversary. September 15th 2012 marks 50 years of wedded bliss for the Adams’. Joellene said, “we didn’t meet, we lived next to each other. I kinda grew up along with his sisters. Went away to work in Syracuse for a few months and when he came back around we had a date and that’s how it all started.” Roy and Joellene also share their birthday month, so they have a lot in common. The Adams moved to Boston as soon as they were marr...

  • Elaine Ransom Cook

    Sesi King|Aug 23, 2012

    Our lady this week is Elaine Joyce Cook, Kanatatsenri.....born July 11, 1938. Elaine’s parents were Thomas Benedict and Annie Oakes. The memory she has of them is that her father used to work as a woodsman in Monette, Ontario. Later on, he began working in Cornwall at Howard Smith Paper Company. He walked across that bridge everyday in all seasons. When winter came it was so cold and he still had to walk, which eventually caused him to become ill with pneumonia and Tuberculosis. He was only 3...

  • Words From The Wise

    Sesi King|Aug 16, 2012

    Julia David (Tekonwakwenni) was born and raised on Cornwall Island. She was born on September 28, 1928 and grew up with one brother and three sisters. She is the only one left in her family. Julia spent much of her time with her grandparents Annie and Wishe Buckshot. Their home was on the corner of what is now James Lazore Memorial and River Rd., and Julia with her siblings were there often. They would walk there or get a ride by a horse drawn sled over the ice without any fear. Julia’s mom w...

  • Shirley Jacobs Story

    Sesi King|Jul 19, 2012

    Shirley Jacobs, was born October 14, 1934, was born in a house in Kanatakon, raised on Cornwall Island, and later returned to Kanatakon. Most of Shirley’s close relatives have passed on and she remains. The only ones left are her cousins. Her father was Alex Roundpoint and her Mother was Annie Jocko. Shirley’s father had one brother, Frank Roundpoint, and two sisters who were Hatti Herne and Julia Roundpoint. Her Mother Annie Jocko had five sisters and five brothers. Shirley had one brother Ben...

  • Happy 100th Birthday to Christine Fadden on July 3rd from Indian Time and the community.

    Jun 28, 2012

    Christine Chubb (“Chris”) was born on July 3, 1912. She was born in the farmhouse of her maternal grandparents, Louis & Katherine Dauime Back, which was located on Drum Street at the end of Kahionhes Road (known today as Hart Road) within the eastern portion of the Mohawk community of Akwesasne. Christine is the eldest of five children. When Christine was twelve years old she moved to Niagara Falls as her father got a job there and Christine helped her mother with the Mohawk craft of bas...

  • A Tribute to Our Mother on her 100th birthday

    Jun 21, 2012

    Beatrice Wahienhaweh Jacobs was born to Sarah Barnhart Phillips and John Deer on June 23, 1912. She married Louis D. Jacobs on June 26, 1929 in St. Regis Quebec. They raised seven children, have 32 Grandchildren, 54 Great-grandchildren and 5 great-great-children. She was a loving Mother but also went by the rule “spare the rod and spoil the child”. So we all knew what the old wooden yard stick was all about. She taught us to sing our prayers and how to behave in church. We all gathered as a fam...

  • Cecelia Sylvester NINETY-THREE BLESSED YEARS

    May 17, 2012

    Yes! Cecelia Sylvester celebrated her ninety-three years on May 12, 2012 with an outdoor BBQ at her home, East End of Cornwall Island, with family and friends. Succulent, mouth watering BBQ ribs, chicken, hamburgers and a specialty Coney dogs, brought all the way from Syracuse. The art of process is in preparing all afternoon by Al Mongomery, (Cecelia’s Son-In-Law) to make ready for the special occasion for the birthday girl! Also Al’s wife of 42 years, Mary, who made this all happen (Ce...

  • A (very disgusted) Elder Submission

    May 17, 2012

    Photo’s submitted by Peter Sunday who has been cleaning up garbage in the ditches near his home. There are ten bags of garbage, which are not just bottles and cans, there is even a car battery. It’s very sad that one of our elders has to deal with this garbage in his ditch. Peter says – we should be taking care of Mother Earth and not treating her like this!...

  • A Residential School Story

    Brittany Bonaparte|Feb 16, 2012

    This column was previously called ‘Elders Highlight’. We found many of our elders were too shy to contribute or maybe they didn’t like the title, so we changed it to ‘Words from the Wise’. This column is for them to share their life stores and experiences with the community, who they are, where they came from, where they went and stories of their life. If you are interested in sharing, please contact Indian Time at 518-358-9531 or 613-575-2063. We have staff to listen and help write it down f...

  • Beatrice Lazore

    Feb 9, 2012

    There is a young lady, Beatrice Lazore, soon to be 80 years old on March 13th. She was born on St. Regis Island in 1932 and this week will share some stories from her life on the Island before moving to the village of Kanatakon. “Don’t believe that “13” is an unlucky number,” said Beatrice, referring to her birthday. She shared many stories about her childhood and growing up on the Island and the differences she saw when her family moved to the mainland. All her stories were so interesti... Full story

  • Dr. Solomon Cook

    Feb 2, 2012

    It was an interesting visit with a very gifted man this past week. Solomon Cook was born January 8, 1920 at the home of his parents, Kahawihson McDonald and Angus Taieroniote Cook. Solomon grew up with 7 siblings, including one more that his parents raised. He and his sister, Cecilia Konwakenni, who is now 90, are the only survivors of the family. His other siblings who have all passed away are: Christine, Ann Kaniharonkwas, Lillian Skawennetsi, John Kanonwatase Jimmy Tehonieien, and most... Full story

  • Mary J. Francis

    Sesi King|Jan 27, 2012

    This week’s elder visit was with Mary J. Francis, a long time resident of Kana:takon. Mary is well known and respected by so many people and we are definitely honored to hear her words about parts of her life. She was born August 25, 1927 to Thomas and Louise Zachary Herne on the southern portion of Ahkwesahsne. Mary had many brothers and sisters including a twin brother Johnny, and has outlived all of them. There is one more, Vicky, who became just like her sister after Mary’s parents raised he... Full story

  • Louise Cook

    Sesi King|Jan 19, 2012
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    Katsitsientha Ella Louise (David) Cook provided such a welcoming visit at her home this week and shared many pieces of her life. It is always a pleasant get together with her and with any member of her wonderful family. Louise was born and raised on Kawehno:ke on July 20, 1933 to Julia Jacobs and Sam David. She is the oldest of four children and her siblings are: Mabel, Gloria and J.R. Mabel White is still teaching Kanienkeha as she did for most of her career, Gloria lives here in Ahkwesahsne an... Full story

  • Judy Swamp

    Dec 8, 2011

    When talking with elders, one never knows what to expect. They could talk about their families that are big and small or life growing up on a farm where you worked so you could eat. The changes that their eyes have seen in this community can be astonishing. Judy grew up on Kawehnoke, with nine sisters and one brother. She married Jake Swamp in 1961 and together they raised seven children who in turn gave them 23 grandkids and about 13 great-grandkids. She grew up with memories she is fond of...

  • May Cole

    Sateiokwen Cole|Nov 10, 2011

    This week’s Elder Highlight will shine on elder May Cole. She has five brothers and sisters (Buster, Charlene, Bobby, Betty, and Helen) and raised eight boys and one girl (Edwin, Dennis, Wayne, Jeff, Harris, Brian, Sam, Steve, and Maxine). I visited her this week to pester her about her life and to hear what story she would tell me, this is some of what she had to say: When were you born? “1924” (for all of you without a calculator that makes her a young 87) Where did you grow up? “My grandpa...

  • Freeman Lazore

    Sesi King|Aug 25, 2011

    This week’s elder friend is Freeman Lazore who was born in the Fall of 1912 and is a resident of Raquette Point, Ahkwesahsne. Freeman is mostly a man who will speak his mind and lives quietly in his home on Oakes Rd, with a very interesting story with details about the Era of the Depression. Freeman still has a very sharp memory and this visit was so interesting and informative of that time; we both enjoyed the visit and he asked me to go back and see him again. Freeman began his story by s...

  • Charlotte Francis

    Sesi King|Aug 18, 2011

    Our featured elder this week lives in the village of Kana:takon. She is Charlotte Francis who was born on November 2, 1926 on Yellow Island where she also grew up. Charlotte originally had one sister, Annie, who is now deceased and a brother named Mike who has also passed away. Charlotte’s one remaining brother Albert lives in Kana:takon as well. Charlotte and Annie used to take care of their mom who was blind and they traveled back and forth to the Yellow Island and Kana:takon. Charlotte r...

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