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Project Period Returns to the Akwesasne Reserve

Our days included visits to a traditional Long House to clean up and listen to a medicine man explain the clans and gatherings; time playing with first graders at the Akwesasne Mohawk Elementary School to observe how Mohawk language is taught, we talked with a traditional lacrosse stick maker, and then we wielded an ax in pounding a Black Ash log while talking to a traditional basket maker.

At home with Tyson, Kelly, and their two young daughters, we helped collect sap for maple syrup, ate delicious moose stew and corn soup, watched Tyson skin a mink to preserve the coat, and Kelly helped us with a beading project and sewing leather pouches. We were busy, we relaxed, we watched Jordan’s son play hockey, and we feel so fortunate to have enjoyed their warm hospitality.

Our students shared their reactions:

Ella, ‘22:
“At the Mohawk school the energy was fantastic. Walking through the halls we observed the kids and teachers and all of the bright colors they’ve incorporated. Our first class was a kindergarten class, the kids were doing different activities at each table. They were all so cute and nice. As we worked out the arts and crafts, the teachers put on a timer for 5 minutes. Once the timer was up every kid helped clean up and in 10 minutes all of the tables were clean and all of the kids were at the designated seat. The next class we went to was a Mohawk language based class full of second graders they were all pretty nice but there were a few shy kids. The teacher was strict but gave the kids structure, and talked to them in mostly Mohawk. I thought that class was a better example of Mohawk schools. Overall it was a good experience and I would recommend it to future students.”

Camden ‘21:
     “During Project Period this spring, I went on the Mohawk culture trip. One project I took on was skinning a mink that got hit by a car. Tyson taught me how to skin the mink. It was my first time skinning an animal; it was a very cool experience. Tyson was very knowledgeable, and he showed us how to not ruin the fur. Once we finished skinning the animal, we had to let it dry before we could finish the project. Tyson noted that the mink skin would be saved and used for a future project. I really enjoyed getting to spend time with Tyson and his family.”
Located in  Andover, NH,  Proctor Academy is a private coeducational day and boarding school for grades 912. Students benefit from a rigorous academic program, experiential off-campus programs, fine and performing arts, competitive athletics, and a wide selection of extracurricular activities.
204 Main Street  .  PO Box 500  .  Andover, NH 03216
p. (603) 735-6000   f. (603) 735-6300