Canada invests in a new Language and Cultural Centre on Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory

News release

Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, Ontario, June 5, 2023 — Today, the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Crown-Indigenous, Callie Hill, Executive Director of Tsi Tyónnheht Onkwawén:na Language and Cultural Centre, and Chief R. Donald Maracle, Elected Chief of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte, announced a federal investment of $9.6 million to support the construction of the Kenhtè:ke Language and Cultural Centre on Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory.

The Centre will provide educational and cultural programs for community members, non-Indigenous organizations and individuals who are interested in learning about Kanyen'kehá:ka (Mohawk) cultural values and traditions to support reconciliation. It includes a teaching kitchen, an art studio and a gathering space for up to 150 people for programs, events and celebrations.

Designed to achieve net-zero carbon performance, the building will use technologies such as solar panels and a geothermal ground source heat pump. This state-of-the-art sustainable building will be respectful and in harmony with its natural surroundings.

In line with the Kanyen'kehá:ka worldview to eliminate barriers to participation in all elements of daily life, the Centre will ensure that services and programs are accessible to all, in accordance with the highest accessibility standards and codes.

As a cultural feature of the community, the facility will also include enhanced accessibility by combining several programs currently administered in separate locations into one building. People of all ages and abilities will benefit from increased opportunities to learn the language, history and worldview of Kanyen'kehá:ka.

By investing in infrastructure, the Government of Canada is growing our country’s economy, increasing the resiliency of our communities, and improving the lives of Canadians.


“The Kenhtè:ke Language and Cultural Centre will not only provide the community with a new gathering space, it will also provide a safe space where individuals can celebrate, and gain a deeper knowledge and understanding of their Kanyen'kehá:ka culture, values and traditions. We will continue to work with Indigenous, provincial, territorial and municipal partners to invest in local community infrastructure, promote climate action, and build more resilient and inclusive communities across Canada. Congratulations on this long awaited moment.”

The Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, on behalf of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities

“Through our early years and school immersion programs, children as young as age 3 and up to 10 are receiving instruction and care in their language, in their culture, and in an environment that cherishes and celebrates Onkwehonweneha, our ways of being in the world. We are grateful for the support of the federal government as we prepare to move our programming out of a former day school location and into a purpose-built facility that can grow these important programs.”

Callie Hill, Executive Director of Tsi Tyónnheht Onkwawén:na Language and Cultural Centre

“This is a very happy and exciting day for our community, and we thank the federal government for joining in support of this much needed new language and cultural centre. Our Kanyen'kéha (Mohawk Language) has been oppressed in our history by colonial government policy. We work daily to foster a healthy, sustainable Kanyen’kehá:ka community built on and united by our language, culture, traditions, knowledge, and history, and facilities like this one will be essential as we work to realize this vision. Language restoration is part of the path of reconciliation.”

Chief R. Donald Maracle, Elected Chief of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte

“Whether it is through TTO’s programming for our youth and children, right up to their adult language programs, TTO is playing an important role in sharing and revitalizing our culture. And they cannot do this work alone. These contributions from the federal government and the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte will help provide access to many programs that reconnect our youth with their culture and set them on a path for lifelong learning and success. I am beyond proud of everyone who has helped this vision become an exciting and soon to be reality.”

Josh Hill, councillor responsible for Education, Culture, and Language, Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte

“Our language is the essence of our Identity as Kanien'kehaka People. The distinctive voice that the Creator gifted our Nation with was forcefully taken from us, many generations ago. Too long have we been unable to use our original voice... until today. Today, we can celebrate together with Creation that we now have a place to re-learn and revitalize our language -- and be rightfully recognized by Creation as Kanien'kehaka.”

Iehnhotonkwas, member, Tyendinaga Longhouse Community, and member, Tsi Tyónnheht Onkwawén:na Board of Directors

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada is contributing $9.6 million to this project through the Green and Inclusive Community Buildings program (GICB).

  • The Green and Inclusive Community Buildings program is an integral part of Canada’s Strengthened Climate Plan, providing $1.5 billion over five years towards green and accessible retrofits, repairs or upgrades of existing public community buildings and the construction of new publicly-accessible community buildings that serve high-needs, underserved communities across Canada. 

  • The GICB program aims to improve the places Canadians work, learn, play, live and gather by cutting pollution, making life more affordable, and supporting thousands of good jobs. Through green and other upgrades to existing public community buildings and new builds in underserved communities, the GICB helps ensure community facilities are inclusive, accessible, and have a long service life, while also helping Canada move towards its net-zero objectives by 2050.

  • At least 10 percent of GICB funding is allocated to projects serving First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities, including Indigenous populations in urban centres.

  • For more information, please visit the Infrastructure Canada website.

Associated links


For more information (media only), please contact:

Jean-Sébastien Comeau
Press Secretary and Senior Communications Advisor
Office of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc
Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities

Media Relations
Infrastructure Canada
Toll free: 1-877-250-7154
Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn
Web: Infrastructure Canada

Phil Gaudreau
Make it Matter Media Inc. (on behalf of Tsi Tyónnheht Onkwawén:na)

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