Six Nations wants more Arts opportunities in the community

SIX NATIONS — Six Nations members want more focus on Haudenosaunee traditions, language and to see more art on display in the community. These are just some of the findings Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corp’s Community Planning team summarized after community consultations sessions for Arts & Culture.

According to the report the people of Six Nations do not feel that “Arts & Culture” accurately reflects the priority category and will update a new heading to the section in spring 2019.

The draft vision for the Arts & Culture category says “Six Nations is a thriving Haudenosaunee community where all six languages are spoken, and the community is vibrant with our arts. Our leadership and our development are guided by clear Haudenosaunee standards that come from our culture and our teachings, which empower us to preserve and embrace our identity for future generations.”

Some of the values prioritized by community members in the category are things like Peace, love, teasing , sharing, independence, inclusivity and emotion.

The report says community members articulated the following context.

“Our culture, including our six languages, our teachings, our ceremonies and our arts, was given to us by our ancestors: it is our identity. It is what distinguishes us from other nations and communities. Our history through colonialism, including residential schools, involved the government trying to remove our culture. While our culture and languages have suffered, they are not lost.

Our history has hurt the culture of the community leading to individualism and violence. This is not our Haudenosaunee way – we strive for a Six Nations with a culture of sharing and empathy.”

Community members expressed a desire for opportunities on Six Nations for youth to connect with the land, for the traditional council and clan systems to play more of an active role in preserving and enhancing the culture and for a multi-year fund dedicated to Arts, Language and Culture.

Some of the actions community members expressed they want to see incorporated into the community plan are for more female voices to come forward, for well-paying positions to be available for those with traditional knowledge, and a greater focus on using the good mind.

The report is part of the Phase 2 Comprehensive Update on each priority within the Community Plan.

The report is available to view on the Six Nations Development Corp’s website. For feedback you can email

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