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Sharing Our Stories: A different life / Ó:ia' Ní:tsi Iakónhnhehkwe'

I grew up in Kahnawake, but only during the summer time. My parents lived in Michigan, but always brought my brother and I back to stay with my grandparents in Kahnawake every summer until I was around 12 years old.

The village was very safe and so my grandparents didn’t worry about us much. We’d go out the door in the morning and be told to come back when the church bell rang because that would be the time to eat. And so we could go any place we wanted in the village.

We went all over the place. We were at the tunnel but never on the tracks, in the lanes all over the village picking rhubarb and chokecherries, and at or in the river.

When we were kids, before the Seaway came in, we had the river. There were also cows and horses roaming free. So we would be swimming in the river and the horses would come running in there with us. Nobody was afraid of them and they didn’t bother us.

It was a different life than it is now and it was so good. I feel bad for the young people who don’t have that memory, it’s gone forever.

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Kahnawà:ke takatehià:ron', nek shiwakenhnhé:sons. Michigan nonkwá:ti thninákerehkwe' ne iontièn:'a, tiótkon shos wáhi entionkhiia'ténhawe' iatiatate'kèn:'a tánon' nì:'i ionkhihsothnéha ieniatiátien' ne Kahnawà:ke thia'tewakénhnhake tsi niió:re ákta 12 sha'tkohserí:ia'ke'.

É:so tsi ioia'tanónhstehkwe' ne kaná:takon ne ki' iah sótsi tha'teionkhi'nikonhrharà:'on ne akhsótha'. Tiótkon ieniakeniiá:ken'ne' nohrhon'kè:ne tánon' enionkhihró:ri' tentiatiatkón:tahkwe' nó:nen enthatihwistà:'eke' tsi ionterennaientáhkhwa' ase'kénh tho nikahá:wi' na'teiontskà:hons. Tánon' ki' wáhi enwá:ton' tsik nón:we tsi nikaná:tes eniatianónhton' ieniákene'.

Kwah akwé:kon nontaiákenehte'. O'wharákta ieniákene' nek tsi iah nonwén:ton tsi ioteristatátie', tsik nón:we iohaténion ne kaná:takon tiostawinahiò:tsis tánon' tiakonia'tawèn:'eks eniakení:ko', tánon' kwah tho nón:we tsi kaniatarátie'.

Shiiakeniksà:'a', ohén:ton shikana'tsherátie', ionkwaién:tahkwe' thí:ken kaniataratátie'. Kanatakwé:kon nentkón:nehte' enkonhtentión:ko' ne tiohnhónskwaron tánon' akohsá:tens. Kaniatarà:ke eniakwatá:wen' sok tho ia'tenkonráhtate' nakohsá:tens enionkhiitia'táhrhahse'. Iah ónhka tekonwatshà:niskwe' tánon' iah se' tha'taionkhi'nikonhrhá:ren'.

Kwah ó:ia' ní:tsi iakónhnhehkwe' tsi ní:ioht nòn:wa tánon' é:so tsi ion'wesénhne'. Khé:tenre' ki' wáhi kí:ken ken' nithotiièn:sa tsi iah nè:'e tha'tehonatohétston, iah nonwén:ton tha'taonsetewatóhetste'.

Story told by: Niioie:ren Patton, Edited by: Emma McLaughlin - Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Translated by: Karonhí:io Delaronde, The Eastern Door