Skip to main content
Skip to McMaster Navigation Skip to Site Navigation Skip to main content
McMaster logo
COVID-19 information and updates

Find the most recent updates here, as well as FAQs and information for students, faculty and staff.

Rick Monture, member of the Mohawk nation, Turtle clan, from Six Nations of the Grand River Territory

Rick Monture receives McMaster’s Indigenous Scholar-in-Community fellowship

Rick Monture, faculty member in the Indigenous Studies program, member of the Mohawk nation, Turtle clan, from Six Nations of the Grand River Territory, is the recipient of McMaster’s 2021 Indigenous Scholar-in-Community fellowship.

Jun 29, 2021

Rick Monture, member of the Mohawk nation, Turtle clan, from Six Nations of the Grand River Territory, is the recipient of McMaster’s 2021 Indigenous Scholar-in-Community fellowship.

The fellowship provides the opportunity for research collaborations with Indigenous communities, partners, and organizations to produce and mobilize knowledge in ways that are mutually beneficial.

“We are very excited for the opportunity this award provides to both support a McMaster Indigenous researcher and foster community-based research relationships and priorities,” says Bonnie Freeman, Acting Director, McMaster Indigenous Research Institute. “This award, valued at $25,000, is made possible with funding from the Office of the Provost and will facilitate a partnership that will enhance language preservation efforts at Six Nations.”

Monture is also an associate professor in the department of English & Cultural Studies and the Indigenous Studies Program, as well as a community scholar at Six Nations Polytechnic. As a life-long resident of Six Nations, Monture has observed the decline in language usage in the community but has also witnessed the resurgence in language learning in the immersion school environment.  While the interest in learning language directly from a fluent speaker is there, the opportunity to do so is extremely limited, given the age and health of such speakers.

In partnership with the Woodland Cultural Centre in Brantford, Monture will help to interview, record, and document the cultural wisdom and stories, past and present, of the handful of remaining first language speakers of Cayuga and Onondaga at Six Nations.

“I believe all Haudenosaunee language learners will greatly benefit from these recordings made by fluent speakers,” says Monture. “In addition, the work of this project will honour fluent speakers at Six Nations by recording their voices in our languages and by providing them with a sense of assurance that their knowledge will sustain our people for decades to come.”

Long-term, Monture sees this work positioning Woodland Cultural Centre as a ‘go to’ site for Haudenosaunee language retention and revitalization, both at Six Nations and in other Haudenosaunee communities.

This article was adapted from McMaster University's Brighter World