Project Description

The Thanksgiving Address: Greetings and Thanks

We invite you to enter into this book and the accompanying website by listening to the voices of Mohawk language professor Ryan DeCaire and Mohawk food leader Chandra Maracle as they offer the Ohen:ton Karihwatehkwen or Thanksgiving Address in both Mohawk and English.

The Haudenosaunee (known as the Iroquois Confederacy in French or as Six Nations in English) begin every gathering by offering greetings and thanks to all the elements of life that sustain us. This ritual brings everyone into the space with a good mind, ready to listen and learn.  

Why begin a book about food sovereignty with a Mohawk greeting? As Chandra explains “I love to start any meeting with these words of thanksgiving to all the beings in the natural world. It shows that food is a great universalizer, something that we all need as human beings. In the context of talking about things like decolonization, truth and reconciliation, there are so many things that divide us. But food is a very approachable way of bringing us together, it helps us remember the universality of it all. It’s a way to bring people together, not to separate us.” 

Watch the Thanksgiving Address video first, focusing on the images while Ryan speaks in the Mohawk language. Then Chandra offers a further explanation in English. Below you can follow the text in both Mohawk and English, illustrated by drawings by Tuscarora artist Rick Hill. See the Facilitator’s Guide for the video on page xxx which includes a participatory activity with the drawings that Chandra has developed to make the connections between food and all of the elements.

Ohen:ton Karihwatehkwen (in Mohawk)

Karihwahnhotónkwen
Tewatatè:ken, né: wáhi thia’tewenhniserá:ke táhnon nó:nen othé:nen iorihowá:nen tewaterihwahtentià:tha, kanonhweratónhsera entitewáhtka’we. Teniethinonhweratónnion tsi naho’tèn:shon rokwatákwen táhnon roweiennentà:’on kèn:thon tsi ionhontsá:te táhnon tsi tkaronhiatátie.  Né: nen’ nè:’e tewana’tónhkhwa ne Ohén:ton Karihwatéhkwen. Eh káti naiohtónhake nonkwa’nikòn:ra. 

Onkwe’shòn:’a
Akwé:kon énskat entitewahwe’nón:ni nonkwa’nikòn:ra táhnon teiethinonhwerá:ton ne onkwe’shòn:’a ienákere tsi ionhontsá:te tsi shé:kon rotiio’tátie tsi nahò:ten shakoríhonte ne Shonkwaia’tíson naiá:wen’ne skén:nen aonhtén:ti’ tsi ionhontsá:te. Eh káti naiohtónhake nonkwa’nikòn:ra. 

Iethi’nisténha Onhóntsa
Humans
Akwé:kon énskat entitewahwe’nón:ni nonkwa’nikòn:ra táhnon taiethinonhwerá:ton ne Iethi’nisténha Onhóntsa.  Iakorihwató:ken tsi shé:kon taiakohtka’wenhátie ne ako’shatsténhsera.  Nè:’e kwi’ thí:ken teionkwatonhontsó:ni ne aetiónhnheke táhnon skén:nen taetewatawén:rie ieronhkwe’nà:ke.  Eh káti naiohtónhake nonkwa’nikòn:ra.  

 

Kahnekahrónnion
Akwé:kon énskat entitewahwe’nón:ni nonkwa’nikòn:ra táhnon teiethinonhwerá:ton ne kahnekahrónnion tsi shé:kon iotirihwató:ken tsi ionathnekahtentionhátie naiá:wen’ne aionkwania’taná:wen nó:nen ionkwania’táthens táhnon naonsakará:kewe tsi nahò:ten wahétken’s ká:ien onhontsà:ke.  Eh káti naiohtónhake nonkwa’nikòn:ra.  

Kentson’shòn:’a
Ó:nen káti akwé:kon énskat entitewahwe’nón:ni nonkwa’nikòn:ra táhnon teiethinonhwerá:ton  ne nia’tekéntsake awèn:ke tkontì:teron tsi shé:kon iotinoharenionhátie tsi kahnekahrónnion táhnon taionahtka’wenhátie ne aoti’wà:ron naiá:wen’ne tionhnhéhkwen aionkwá:ton’se.  Eh káti naiohtónhake nonkwa’nikòn:ra.  

Iothontón:ni
Né: káti akwé:kon énskat entitewahwe’nón:ni nonkwa’nikòn:ra táhnon taiethinnonhwerá:ton ne iothontón:ni shonkwaienthó:wi.  Nia’tekahón:take, nia’tekahtè:rake, táhnon nia’tekakwí:rake kwi’ wáhi tewanahè:sen ne aétewake nó:nen entewatonhkária’ke táhnon aionkhítsen’te nó:nen enionkwanonhwákten.  Eh káti naiohtónhake nonkwa’nikòn:ra.  


Otsi’nonwa’shòn:’a
Ó:nen káti akwé:kon énskat entitewahwe’nón:ni nonkwa’nikòn:ra táhnon taiethinonhwerá:ton ne otsi’nonwa’shòn:’a.  Nia’tekatsi’nón:wake kwi’ shakó’teron onhontsà:ke ne taiotirihwaienawa’kónhake táhnon aiotiianerahstonhátieke ne tsi ionhontsá:te naiá:wen’ne akwé:kon skén:nen aonhtén:ti.  Eh káti naiohtónhake nonkwa’nikòn:ra.  

 

Tionhnhéhkwen

Ó:nen akwé:kon énskat entitewahwe’nón:ni nonkwa’nikòn:ra táhnon taiethinonhwerá:ton ne tionhnhéhkwen.  Nia’té:kon ase’shòn:’a ionkwá:ien kahehtakónhshon tsi nón:we ionkwaienthóhseron. Né: kwi’ ò:ni teiethinonhwerá:ton ne Áhsen Nikontate’kèn:’a – ó:nenhste, onon’ónsera, táhnon osahè:ta.  Eh káti naiohtónhake nonkwa’nikòn:ra.  

Kahi’shòn:’a
Né: káti akwé:kon énskat entitewahwe’nón:ni nonkwa’nikòn:ra táhnon teiethinonhwerá:ton ne wahianiióntha.  Nia’tewà:iake ká:ien onhontsà:ke ne aétewake, aetewahnekónnia’te, táhnon taetewá:iehste ne tionhnhéhkwen.  Teiethinonhwerá:ton ò:ni ne niiohontésha; nè:’e kwi’ ohén:ton tehshakotáhston ne Shonkwaia’tíson akanèn:rine ne kahihshòn:’a.  Eh káti naiohtónhake nonkwa’nikòn:ra.

Kahrhahrónnion
Akwé:kon énskat entitewahwe’nón:ni nonkwa’nikòn:ra táhnon teiethinonhwerá:ton ne kahrhahrónnion táhnon karontakwe’ní:io ne tsi ní:kon karontó:ton onhontsà:ke, Wáhta niiohsennò:ten. Shé:kon tewaniahé:sen ne aétewatste aetewatenonhsónnia’te, aetewatatia’tataríha’te nó:nen enwathó:rate, táhnon tionhnhéhkwen aionkwa’:ton’se.  Eh káti naiohtónhake nonkwa’nikòn:ra.  

Otsi’ten’okòn:’a
Akwé:kon énskat entitewahwe’nón:ni nonkwanikòn:ra táhnon taiethinonhwerá:ton ne otsi’ten’okòn:’a kontinákere tsi ionhontsá:te táhnon ne kwah tkonwatikowá:nen, Á:kweks niiohsennò:ten, tsi shé:kon taiaonatka’wenhátie ne aoti’shatsténhsera.   Eh káti naiohtónhake nonkwa’nikòn:ra.  

Kontírio
Akwé:kon énskat entitewahwe’nón:ni nonkwanikòn:ra táhnon taiethinonhwerá:ton ne nia’tekariò:take teionatawénrie tsi kahrhahrónnion tsi shé:kon iethí:kens tsi kontitakhenóntie’s kahrhakónhshon táhnon taionatka’wenhátie ne aoti’wà:ron táhnon aotinéhon.  Eh káti naiohtónhake nonkwa’nikòn:ra.  

 

Kaié:ri Nikawerá:ke
Akwé:kon énskat entitewahwe’nón:ni nonkwanikòn:ra táhnon teiethinonhwerá:ton ne kaié:ri niiokwèn:rare, othorè:ke, entiè:ke, na’kòn:ke, táhnon ne e’nekèn:ke nonkwá:ti nitionatewerí:non.  Shé:kon rotiio’tátie tsi nahò:ten ronaterihón:ton naiá:wen’ne aetewatón:rie. Eh káti naiohtónhake nonkwa’nikòn:ra.


Ionkhihsothó:kon Ratiwè:ras
Akwé:kon énskat entitewahwe’nón:ni nonkwanikòn:ra táhnon taiethinonhwerá:ton ne Ionkhihsothó:kon Ratiwè:ras tsi shé:kon ratiwennotáties táhnon á:se shonnón:nis tsi kahnekahrónnion tsi ionhontsá:te.  Eh káti naiohtónhake nonkwa’nikòn:ra.


Ionkhihsótha Ahsonthenhnéhkha Karáhkwa
 
Akwé:kon énskat entitewahwe’nón:ni nonkwanikòn:ra táhnon teiethinonhwerá:ton ne Ionkhihsótha Ahsonthenhnéhkha Wenhni’tarátie’s tsi shé:kon tiekonhsarátie’s tsi teionkhihswathe’tén:ni tsi niwahsonté:son’s naiá:wen’ne skén:nen aontén:ti tsi ionhontsá:te.  Eh káti naiohtónhake nonkwa’nikòn:ra. 

Ehtshitewahtsì:’a Entiehkehnékha Karáhkwa 
Akwé:kon énskat entitewahwe’nón:ni nonkwanikòn:ra táhnon tehtshitewanonhwerá:ton ne Ehtshitewahtsì:’a Entiehkehnékha Karáhkwa tsi shé:kon thotenniehtonhátie ne rao’shatsténhsera.  Eh káti naiohtónhake nonkwa’nikòn:ra.

Iotsistohkwarónnion
Ó:nen akwé:kon énskat entitewahwe’nón:ni nonkwa’nikòn:ra táhnon teiethinonhwerá:ton ne iotsistohkwarónnion teiotihswathè:ton tsi tkaronhiatátie’s tsi shé:kon ionkhina’tón:nis tsi niiotierá:ton entewatié:ra’te nó:nen ionkwatia’tahtòn:’on. Eh káti naiohtónhake nonkwa’nikòn:ra.

 

Shonkwaia’tíson
Ó:nen káti nón:wa eh nón:we ia’tentewawennaníhara’ne ne tsi nón:we thotatenaktarakwén:ni ne Shonkwaia’tíson. Entewehià:rake tsi rohsa’ánion, rokwatákwen táhnon roweiennentà:’on akwé:kon nahò:ten tewaniahè:sen aetiónhnheke.  Né: káti akwé:kon énskat entitewahwe’nón:ni nonkwanikòn:ra táhnon tetshitewanonhwerá:ton ne Shonkwaia’tíson.  Eh káti naiohtónhake nonkwa’nikòn:ra.


Karihwahnhó:ton
Ó:nen ká:ti eh niió:re wa’katerihwatkwé:ni akewennóhetste’ ne kanonhsweratónhsera.  Tóka’ othé:nen sonke’nikóhrhen, í:se kwi’ nen’ nè:’e tsisewaia’tátshon ientsisewatahsónteren tsi entisewahtka’we ne kanonhweratónhsera.  Ó:nen nón:wa eh nón:we iahetéwawe ne ioióhe aetewarihwahnhotón:ko táhnon enwá:ton entewaterihwahténtia’te tsi nahò:ten ionkwaterì:wate.  É’tho káti nikawén:nake táhnon ó:nen é’tho. 

Thanksgiving Address (in English)
Each day, when there is an important matter at hand. We must give thanks. We will give thanks for all he has created and prepared for us here on the earth and in the sky. This is called the matters before all else. So it be in our minds. 

We bring our minds together as one and give thanks to the people on the earth, that they are still tending to their responsibilities to that peace can be possible on earth.  So let it be in our minds. 

We bring our minds together as one and give thanks to the earth, that in her kindness she still continues to provide us with her strength for this is what we need to continue to live peacefully upon her body. So let it be in our minds. 

We bring our minds together as one and give thanks to the water, that we still have waters to cool our bodies, quench our thirst, and washes away pollutants in the earth. So let it be in our minds. 

We bring our minds together as one and give thanks to the many kinds of fish that live in the water, that they still clean the waters, that we are still able to use their meat to sustain us. So let it be in our minds. 

We bring our minds together as one and give thanks to the many kinds of plants growing on the planet; the grasses, roots, and shrubbery, that we depend on when we are in hunger, and that heal us when we are ill. So let it be in our minds. 

We bring our minds together as one and give thanks to the many kinds of insects, he has created many different types of insects on the earth, they are connected to the beautification of the earth, so that things may come along peacefully. So let it be in our minds. 

We bring our minds together as one and give thanks to the many kinds of sustainers, to the many kinds of fresh foods that grow in the gardens we plant. We also give thanks to the three sisters; corn, beans, and squash. So let it be in our minds. 

We bring our minds together as one and give thanks to the many kinds of berries (hanging fruits) of the earth in which we eat, that we use to make juice, and that we use to sustain ourselves.  We also give thanks to the strawberry, who was chosen by the creator to be the leader of the berries/fruit. So let it be in our minds. 

We bring our minds together as one and give thanks to the many forests, and the leader of the trees, the maple.  That we are still able to use it to make our homes, to keep us warm when it is cold, and that we are still able to use it to sustain ourselves. So let it be in our minds. 

We bring our minds together as one and give thanks to the many kinds of birds on the earth, and the leader, the eagle.  That we are still provided with their strength. So let it be in our minds. 

 

We bring our minds together as one and give thanks to the many kinds of animals that wander the forests. That we still see them running about the forests, that they are still us with their skin, and their meat to sustain ourselves. So let it be in our minds.  

We bring our minds together as one and give thanks to the four winds: north, south, east and west.  That they are still working together so that we can breathe. So let  it be in our minds. 

 

We bring our minds together as one and give thanks to our grandmother the moon, that her face still illuminates the night making sure so that it will be peaceful here on earth.  So let it be in our minds. 

We bring our minds together as one and give thanks to our elder brother sun, that he is still providing us with his strength. So let it be in our minds. 

We bring our minds together as one and give thanks to the stars that shine in the sky, that they still show us the way we should go when we are lost. So let it be in our minds. 

We bring our minds together as one and give thanks to the creator. We remember that he is the one that he has created, and prepared everything we depend on to live. This is why we bring our minds together to thank him. So let it be in our minds.

Now that I have put the words of thanksgiving through. 

If I have forgotten anything, it falls to each of you here to continue to complete it. Now it is time for us to open up the matter, and start the matter at hand. 

Facilitators Guide

Download (PDF, 148KB)

Commentary by Anderson

Download (PDF, 48KB)