The KEC is dedicated to ensuring students are engaged through an innovative and dynamic program of studies. The Kahnawà:ke Education Center’s Tsi Niionkwarihò:ten Program is guided by the community’s desire for a culturally rich education for all students of Kahnawà:ke. The community’s aspirations for a strong Kanien’kehá:ka program rooted in our traditions has been unchanging and has been continually reaffirmed over time. The KEC Tsi Niionkwarihò:ten program ensures our students are being taught in a culturally engaging way by embracing who they are as Onkwehón:we people through the highest quality curriculum. To support the development of the KEC’s Tsi Niionkwarihò:ten program, a definition of a culturally sound Kanien’kehá:ka curriculum was developed in 2015. This definition is now the foundation of KEC curriculum in all areas of studies:
“Kanien’kehá:ka based curriculum is instilling an understanding of Tsi Niionkwarihò:ten for our learners.
This is done by using the foundational teachings of who we are which are rooted in our Kanien’kehá:ka world view.
Our world view originates from the lessons in our creation story, the values of giving the words of the Ohén:ton Karihwatéhkwen each day, the structure and purpose of the Kaianerehkó:wa and maintaining our connection and gratitude for the natural world through our cycle of ceremonies.
The curriculum will be guided and developed utilizing all of these principles.”
The guiding principles described in the definition encompass the essence of what makes us Rotinonhsión:ni people – our Creation Story, Ohén:ton Karihwatéhkwen, the Kaianerehkó:wa and our Cycle of Ceremonies. What makes KEC curriculum distinct to the Kanien’kehá:ka of Kahnawà:ke is through the teaching of our distinct language, history and specific land based inquiry. Rooted in Rotinonhsión:ni epistemology, the definition is clear that Kanien’kehá:ka curriculum is not isolated activities to Indigenize curriculum, it is education from our perspective drawing from our sources of knowledge and all that mediates our ways of being Rotinonhsión:ni people. All KEC disciplines will be based on the expectations outlined in the Tsi Niionkwarihò:ten Program.
KEC Curriculum Mobilization
In 2016, the KEC created a mobilization framework to support the development, implementation and continuous assessment of our curriculum which is applicable to all areas of study. Significantly, the mobilization framework is reflective of our Onkwehón:we ways of planning and problem solving, which emphasizes the importance of our collective voice to identify our needs, our direction and our solutions for ourselves. This was achieved by establishing a process that is:
- A positive approach towards planning and developing tasks.
- Building on and respecting the work of those before us.
- Focused on teamwork and values the shared vision and knowledge of the collective.
- A reflective process to ensure we continue to grow in a healthy and respectful manner.
- Framed within the interconnected teachings of the Kaianerehkó:wa - Skén:nen, Ka’shatstenhserowá:nen and Ka’nikonhrí:io.
- An inclusive process of co-creation based on consensus.
Our approach and the progression of curriculum development is guided by the foundational teachings of the Kaianerehkó:wa (The Great Goodness/Great Law of Peace) – Skén:nen, Ka’shatstéhsera and Ka’nikonhrí:io. Beginning in September 2018 all KEC programs will be based on the expectations outlined in this document.
KEC Tsi Niionkwarihò:ten Program
Rooted in our worldview as Rotinonhsión:ni people, the Tsi Niionkwarihò:ten Program embraces Onkwehón:we ways of knowing and provides a space for the continuance of the intellectual knowledge of our ancestors. The multidisciplinary program is academically rigorous while fostering a sense of belonging and a positive self-image for our learners by nurturing their individual gifts and cultivating kinship to all peoples and the land. The program celebrates our distinct identity through the teaching of our Kanien’kéha language and our unique history as Kanien’kehá:ka of Kahnawà:ke.
To bring our vision to life, The KEC Tsi Niionkwarihò:ten Program Framework has been developed to depict the means in which the program has been designed and will be delivered. Rooted in Rotinonhsión:ni epistemology, the framework below has our 4 guiding principles at its core and is surrounded by 9 interconnected elements representing the functions of the program (see figure 1). This, in-turn, represents the elements of the student experience, where all our students will have the opportunity to learn at high levels through education from our perspective, drawing from our sources of knowledge and all that mediates our ways of being Rotinonhsión:ni people. A one-world approach means our students will be proud Onkwehón:we with the ability to be successful in any life-path they choose, guided by the teachings and philosophies of our ancestors.
Kahnawà:ke Education Center’s Tsi Niionkwarihò:ten Program Framework.
The 9 elements of the program in figure 1. comprise the scope of the Tsi Niionkwarihò:ten Program and aim to provide our students with a rich learning experience through a multidisciplinary approach rooted in Rotinonhsión:ni philosophies and values. Inherent to Onkwehón:we teachings are the inter-related elements throughout, this reflects the interconnected essence of Tsi Niionkwarihò:ten teachings.