Canadian Mohawks

The Occom Circle

Canadian Mohawks


Kahnawake, Quebec


The term Canadian Mohawks refers to the Catholic Mohawks who moved from New York to Canada at the end of the 17th century. They are also called the Kahnawake Mohawks (often Anglicized as Caughnawaga). Kahnawake was the name of both the group's town in New York (modern day Fonda, east of Canajoharie), and of their new town in Canada. This new town was located on a reservation called Sault St. Louis, which also went by Kahnawake -- the town that many Canadian Mohawks emigrated from, the new town they immigrated to, and the reservation on which their new town was located all went by the name Kahnawake. The Sault St. Louis/Kahnawake Reserve was established by Jesuits in 1667 as a reserve for Catholic Indians. Historian Colin Calloway estimates that by 1700, two thirds of the Mohawk population had relocated to it. The Kahnawake Mohawks are notable as 1) the tribe that adopted Eunice Williams, the daughter of a Puritan minister, after she was captured in the 1704 raid on Deerfield, MA; 2), the tribe of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, a Mohawk woman whom the Catholic Church canonized in 2012 (there is a shrine to her at both towns called Kahnawake); and 3), as a source of students for Moor’s Indian Charity School after Wheelock relocated it to Hanover, New Hampshire.


Bright, William. Native American Placenames of the United States. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press 2004. Calloway, Colin. New Worlds For All. : Indians, Europeans, and the Remaking of Early America. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press 1997. Gras, J. “Caughnawaga.” In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company 1908. Accessed via 10/6/2013.