The Stories of the Onkwehón:we
A message from the creators of the series Inspired to Make: The Stories of the Onkwehón:we Jennifer Kanerahtoronkwas Paul and Katsi’tsaié:ri Paul
Inspired to make: The Stories of the Onkwehón:we is a project that has been in the making for close to six months. As sisters, we were excited to work with each other on a project, but as two Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) women, we were motivated to push this project in the right direction and provide the artisans with a safe space to share their artwork.
From the beginning, we felt the immensity of what this project could be. We aren’t just featuring Onkwehón:we art, we’re helping to tell Onkwehón:we stories. We are showing the world who we are, our talents and all the dedication we put into our crafts. The gifted artisans across Turtle Island are the ones who drove this project. Their art, talent and passion are clearly embodied in these videos.
Lee Valley has been both supportive and encouraging in every aspect of the project. Allowing the two of us, as young students, to have creative control of a project of this magnitude has been extremely appreciated. Our voice as Onkwehón:we youth has only been amplified throughout the company. Not only did we want to celebrate the distinctly beautiful crafts of Onkwehón:we people, we wanted to help inspire the younger generations.
As each craft holds such significant meaning to our cultures, it was important to show them through an authentic lens. We wanted each video to tell its own story, but at the same time have an overarching message of inspiration.
Growing up in Kahnawà:ke, we were surrounded by so many artisans who inspired us. The Stories of the Onkwehón:we is a series meant to inspire all.