New virtual tour offers taste of Akwesasne culture

June 22, 2021
Native North American Travelling College
Native North American Travelling College

A new virtual tour allows viewers to travel to Akwesasne and immerse themselves in Mohawk culture – all from the comfort of home.

The Native North American Travelling College (NNATC) on Cornwall Island has launched a ‘Living Culture with Mohawk Interpretation’ online experience to give viewers a unique look at Akwesasne and its amazing history.

Co-hosted by NNATC staff members Lorna Thomas and Mikayla Francis, the virtual tour takes participants on an interactive journey of Mohawk culture starting with the Creation Story and ending with present day living. The co-hosts also teach a few Mohawk phrases and offer friendly guidance on pronunciation in addition to sharing music, insights into life in the Longhouse and Wampum belts, early records of stories and treaties and much more. Artifacts from the NNATC’s expansive collection are also displayed and explained to tourgoers.

“It’s pretty much like an introduction to Akwesasne,” said Francis. “We try to make it a personal experience by sharing stories and details and we also save time to answer questions.”

The online opportunity means people can attend from around the world, and Francis said they have already welcomed participants from as far away as Ireland and Scotland.

“Everyone walks away from it having learned something new,” she added.

The virtual tour can be booked through Airbnb online experiences at a cost of $12 per person and the 60-minute tour is currently offered Mondays and Tuesdays at 1 pm EST. Private bookings are also available for larger groups.

Click here to to book a tour

The response to the tours so far has been nothing short of excellent.

“Lorna and Mikayla were excellent hosts. They introduced Mohawk culture, arts and history in a very interesting and engaging way, and I learnt a lot from the experience. I really liked the way that they used a ‘show and tell’ of objects to illustrate aspects of the culture,” wrote one reviewer online.

The NNATC’s museum is currently closed to the public for in-person visits however its gift shop and bookstore remains open. The NNATC hopes to reopen fully later this year.

About the Native North American Travelling College

The NNATC is located just south of Cornwall on 3 acres of waterfront property on Cornwall Island in Akwesasne, connecting it to the St. Lawrence River, the backbone of this Mohawk community.  Visitors are welcome to enjoy the NNATC’s facilities which include a museum and Ista’s Gift Shop.  The NNATC continues to promote and preserve Mohawk language, culture, and history.

For more information on the NNATC, please visit their website or check them out on Facebook or Instagram.

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