Proud to be Mohawk, Massena Students Flip the Script on Native Stereotypes

Ask the students in the Mohawk Club at Massena high school whether they’ve been on the receiving end of negative stereotypes, and their answer is quick and sharp.

“We see that we’re always the troublemakers or that we’re bad kids,” says Amanda Rourke, the club’s president. Mallory Sunday adds, “they don’t understand who we are as a people.”

She and other club members live on the Akwesasne Mohawk reservation right next to Massena, along the U.S.-Canada border and the St. Lawrence River. One-tenth of the student body at the high school is Native American.

A new survey found nationwide, three-quarters of Native Americans believe there’s discrimination against them today. The poll was sponsored by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

These Mohawk students are trying to fight that discrimination by sharing their history, culture, and food with their fellow students.

Read the full story on North Country Public Radio.