In a celebration of renewal, and the season in which the first strawberry begins to ripen, the Kanatsiohareke (Ga-na-joe-ha-LAY-gay), Mohawk Community celebrated the beautiful red berry as well as summer’s arrival with their 23rd annual Strawberry Festival.
Sitting along the Mohawk river west of Albany, NY., The Kanatsiohareke Mohawk community was re-established in 1993 by a group of Akwesasne Mohawks led by Tom Porter. To revitalize their culture and language in the Mohawk homelands, the Mohawk community leaders established language courses, drum-making workshops and a variety of other events throughout the Mohawk Community.
As a child, Wasontiiosta George came with her family to Kanatsiohareke in 1993. This year she returned for the Strawberry Festival after being away for a long time. “So many memories came flooding back and it was great to be able to bring my kids,” she says. “I had a story to tell them about every corner of the place. With them growing up in Phoenix, Arizona and just moving back to New York, I was very proud and excited to show them the community.”
Here are 10 photos from Kanatshiohareke’s Strawberry Festival.