A Primer for the Use of the Mohawk Children

This exhibit is designed to showcase an important primary resource for understanding the complex relationship between the Kanyen'kehaka (Mohawk) people and British colonists in the late 18th century: A Primer for the use of the Mohawk children, to acquire the spelling and reading of their own, as well as to get acquainted with the English, tongue ; which for that purpose is put on the opposite page / Waerighwaghsawe iksaongoenwa Tfiwaondad-derighhonny Kaghyadoghfera ; nayondeweyestaghk ayeweanaghnòdon ayeghyàdow Kaniyenkehàga Kaweanondaghkouh ; dyorheaf-hàga oni tfinihadiweanotea. Authorship attributed to Daniel Claus, Printed in London by C. Buckton, 1786.

Designed to be used as an educational tool for Kanienʼkehá꞉ka school children, the Primer consists of basic vocabulary lessons and religious instruction, in both English and Kanienʼkéha (Mohawk) language. Aligned with its educational function, the Primer reflected and consolidated the military and political alliance between the Kanyen'kehaka and British, while attempting to instill common values, language, and ideology.

Analyzing the Primer through a lens that is respectful of multiple historical truths, this exhibit aims to present a balanced and textual approach to examining history.