Mohawk Landing/ Landing of the Mohawks
The Landing is an annual commemoration of the historic arrival of the Mohawks here on May 22, 1784, although archival cartographic maps show Iroquois settlement on the north shore of Lake Ontario more than 150 years prior. Celebrated since 1929, "Mohawk Landing" is held on the Sunday closest to May 22. Activities include a reenactment of the landing of the canoes, a special church service, and traditional teachings at the local community centre. Traditional dress and Iroquoian food also enhance this unique historical celebration.
The Cairn is a memorial to the Landing of the Mohawks on the shores of the Bay of Quinte in 1784 and the site serves as the location of the annual commemoration of the event. Erected as a monument by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada in 1929, The Cairn also marks the site of the first Church of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte.
Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory
On the 1st of April 1793, a tract of land the size of a township was granted to the Six Nations people by the Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada, John Graves Simcoe, in a document known as the "Simcoe Deed" (also referred to as Treaty 3 1/2.) The original area of the territory was the size of a township, approximately 92,700 acres. Over the years our land has been reduced by land alienations and surrenders to approximately 18,000 acres. Originally referred to as the Mohawk Tract, Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory is located approximately eight miles east of Belleville and approximately 50 miles west of Kingston. Tyendinaga, when translated in English, means "placing the wood together." Of special significance, the name is derived from "Thayendanegea," Captain Joseph Brant's Mohawk name and reflects the belief that "our strength shall be in unity."
Upon arrival on the shores of the Bay of Quinte in 1784, there were approximately 20 families or 100 individuals. As of 1996, the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte number over 6,000 with those resident on the Territory numbering approximately 2,200.
The Peacemaker and The Great Law
Located at the Community Centre is a memorial to "The Peacemaker". Once the Iroquois Nations were warring nations, The Peacemaker brought the Iroquois together under the "Great Tree of Peace." The Peacemaker brought the Great Law which is the constitution of the Iroquois Confederacy and forms the infrastructure of all aspects of Iroquoian culture, politics, religion,and social hierarchy. The Mohawk Nation is considered "The Keeper of the Eastern Door."
Captain John Deserontyon/Deseronto
Captain John (1740-1811) was the recognized military leader of the Fort Hunter Mohawks of the Mohawk Valley, the forefathers of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte. He lead his people to the land at the Bay of Quinte, founded the Mohawk village here in 1784, and negotiated the formal granting of the land from the British Crown in 1793. "Odeserundiye," his Mohawk name, means "where Thunder was."
Oronhyatekha (Peter Martain)
Dr. Peter Martain, orator, physician, was one of the first Mohawk scholars. Born on the Grand River Reservation, he attended the Universities of Toronto and Oxford. At the age of twenty he was selected by the Six Nations to present official greetings to the visiting Prince of Wales. In 1871, he was a member of the Canada's first Wimbledon rifle team and in 1874 became the President of the Grand Council of Canadian Chiefs. Oronhyatekha was largely responsible for the successful organization of the Independent Order of Foresters.
Queen Anne Silver
All Saints Church
All Saints Church, (also known as the Upper Church) is located on Ridge Road. Completed in 1869, the Church was intended as a place of worship for those living in the west end of the Territory. The Church is enhanced by a number of memorials including the 125th Anniversary window depicting the three clans of the Mohawk Nation: bear, turtle and wolf.
Located on the York Road between Quinte Mohawk School and the Administration Office, the Community Centre is used by individuals and organizations for a variety of functions, from wedding receptions to dances, to general community meetings. Tyendinaga has enjoyed the benefits of a community hall since 1850. The current centre was built in 1971-72 and renovated in 1989.
Quinte Mohawk School
The present day Quinte Mohawk School (K-8) on the York Rd. was opened for the 1973-74 school year. In 1991, an addition was completed, including facilities for exceptional students in a Special Needs programme. Learning at Quinte Mohawk School is enhanced by such programmes as the Mohawk Language programme which teaches Mohawk at all grade levels; and the Arts and Crafts programme which focuses on the Woodland style of arts, crafts, and design in leather, clay and beadwork. Traditional Iroquoian festivals, clay murals and Mohawk dancing are integrated in an extensive cultural programme. Recently a new daycare facility was constructed at the school as a natural transition for children about to enter the elementary school system.
The Administration Office, located approximately 3 km west of Hwy. 49 on the York Rd., is the centralized location for administration and coordination of Tyendinaga programmes and services. The office is also headquarters for Tyendinaga Mohawk Council where the Chief's Office and Council Chambers are located. Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory has had community-based administration since 1956.
The Annual Mohawk Fair, first held in 1901, celebrates the Harvest. The Fair is traditionally held on the second weekend in September at the Community Centre. Organized by the Mohawk Agricultural Society, the Mohawk Fair features arts, crafts and harvest displays, horse pulls, mud drags and a demolition derby.
Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory offers a variety of parks. Tsitkerhododon Park, meaning "where the trees are standing" when translated in English, is located on the Bayshore Road. Designated as parkland since 1969, this beautiful park is the site of Tyendinaga's Annual Traditional Pow Wow. Tyendinaga also boasts a double-diamond ball park located on the York Road. The Mohawk Recreation Complex established in 1993, is used by different local baseball teams for league and tournament games. Recently a lacrosse box has been constructed so that communtiy youth may continue a long traditional game of the Six Nations People. Also, Tyendinaga's housing subdivision includes a children's park complete with updated playground.
First held in 1987, Tyendinaga's Annual Traditional Pow Wow takes place at Tsitkerhododon Park on the Bayshore Road. A non-competitive pow wow, it is held during the 2nd weekend in August. The Pow Wow is a special opportunity to explore and reaffirm traditional ways including: singers, native dancing, dress, arts and crafts, foods, etc. It is a special time of celebration and reflection.
The Mohawk Airport is currently the home of First Nations Air Service (flight school and air charter service) and an industrial park for local businesses. Once part of the grazing lands called "The Plains," early in the century the area served as a militia rifle range. During World War I, the area was used as a military training base, "Camp Mohawk," and during World War II, the area was used as a military airport, "The Mohawk Aerodrome."
Tyendinaga's housing subdivision is located on Huron Brant Drive, off the Bayshore Road, about 2kms east of Hwy. #49. Construction started in 1986, and as of 1993, 54 houses were completed, many built by native workers, and a park for the neighbourhood children. These rental units boast water and sewer facilities, paved roads, and accomodate many territory families returning to the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory. Recently construction began on another subdivision complexdirectly north of the existing one.
Tyendinaga's Library, Ka:nhiote, meaning "rainbow" when translated to English , first opened in 1989. Located on the York Road just east of Quinte Mohawk School, the library features magazines, paperbacks, easy-reading materials, video cassettes, and a special collection of books pertaining to Native themes and authors.