LANGUAGES

language pie chartThe Haudenosaunee languages belong to a family of 16 North American languages spoken around Canada and the United States. Most of the languages have been lost after falling out of use over time however those of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy including: the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca, have survived as well as the Tuscarora and some Wyandot. Those that are dwindling in use are being rekindled with the help of community Elders and the younger generation. Because the Haudenosaunee believe in preserving the traditions for those that will follow, great efforts are being taken to carry on the culture and language so it will be enjoyed for generations to come.

For most languages the number of fluent speakers has gone down but individual nations are working to restore their languages and keep them alive. The Mohawk language is the healthiest with 3000 fluent speakers spread out in Canada and the United States.

Cayuga and Oneida is in decline but elders and the younger generation are working together to revive the languages. Onondaga is spoken mostly in Canada while Seneca is spoken mostly in the United States. Those that do speak the languages are creating programs to protect their language and at the same time preserve the traditional knowlege. The Tuscarora language is all but lost but young Tuscaroras are working to learn their ancestral language again.