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Meet the Masters: Return to Masters Homepage
Ray Fadden, Mohawk Elder, Onchiota

Ray explains how traditional headdresses have been used by Native Americans through the years. Listen (Real 1:59)

Ray describes how he treats the black bears in his backyard. Listen (Real 1:44)

Ray recalls the Boy Scout troop he organized at Akwesasne and their experiences with prejudice. Listen (Real 1:14)

Ray retells the old Iroquois lesson story of the Hermit Thrush. Listen (Real 9:39)

Ray Fadden was the subject of this June 19, 2000 profile jointly produced for radio by Traditional Arts in Upstate New York and North Country Public Radio. Listen (Real 6:30)

In the 1940s, while teaching school at the St. Regis Reservation at
Akwesasne, Ray Fadden [Tehanetorens] began to teach young Mohawks about their own culture. With a group of young men from the reservation, he traveled to collect information about Mohawk history and trained them in woodsmanship and other traditional arts. Many of Fadden's students would become outstanding leaders of today's Mohawk nation. Fadden later founded the Six Nations Indian Museum in Onchiota, where an impressive collection of historical Iroquois artifacts are exhibited. Especially notable are beaded story belts, created by Fadden and used by him and his family to retell ancient myths and lesson stories to visitors. The museum aims to educate the public and to serve Native Americans by reaffirming traditions. Fadden has been recognized by many organizations for his energy and commitment to Native American people and their heritage.

Above: Pictographs drawn by Ray to explain the Iroquois creation myth, one of series of pamphlets to teach Indian children about their culture, 1940s.

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