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Johnson Ima, Elder in Residence | Sessional Lecturer (In memoriam)

photo of Ima Johnson

Ima Johnson

Elder in Residence | Sessional Lecturer (In memoriam)

Contract and Sessional Faculty
Indigenous Studies Program


Ima is of the Mohawk Nation Turtle Clan from the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. For over 25 years, Ima Johnson was a Mohawk Language teacher. She developed a curriculum for the Mohawk immersion program at Kawenni:io/Gaweni:yo Private School and began the tasks of teaching the children the language. In 1998 she received her Ontario Teachers' Certificate through Brock University. Her understanding and patience also prompted her to teach Adult Mohawk Language classes at Six Nations Polytechnic. Ima's passion to teach the Mohawk language to whoever wants to learn has led many to reclaim their language. Her devotion to the immersion program continues today in her capacity as Translator at the Kawenni:io/Gaweni:yo Language Preservation Project.

In addition to her teaching career, Ima is a mother, grandmother and great grandmother. She is a Head Faithkeeper at the Lower Cayuga Longhouse, was named a Six Nations Community Treasure in 2004 and as a Six Nations Indigenous Knowledge Guardian in 2008. In 2009, she was awarded the title of Professor of Indigenous Language. Rich in the knowledge of Haudenosaunee traditions and culture, Ima has shared her knowledge with women in the Six Nations and Hamilton communities through various prenatal clinics and teaching women's wellness and parenting. Through her gift as a storyteller, many of her teachings continue to be shared with others. Ima has many great stories to tell, so come and listen when you can!

Ima is also a member of the Board of Directors for Six Nations Polytechnic, Six Nations Birthing Centre and a member of the Grandparents of the Birthing Centre.