Museums and Attractions

St. Francis Xavier Mission - Shrine of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha

The historic mission was first established in 1667 when the Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) community located in the northern part of the territory at Kentake, now known as LaPrairie, Quebec. The community moved four more times due to economic, agricultural, and political reasons to finally settle at its present site in 1716 at Kahnawà:ke which means “On the Rapids”, and it was here a more permanent church was built in 1720. The Mission is surrounded by Fort Saint-Louis, a fort that was erected in 1725 by the French in protection of the Christian Iroquois. Partial sections of the original fort walls still stand today.

The mission is the home of the Shrine of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha known as the “Lily of the Mohawks” a young Mohawk Woman who was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI, in 2012. Kateri’s tomb can be found to the right of the main altar.

New to the mission is the Saint Kateri Interpretive Center, which is a museum based on the life and afterlife of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha!

The Shrine is located on 1 River Road and is open for mass every Sunday.

Kanien'kehá:ka Onkwawén:na Raotitiohkwa Language And Cultural Center

In the interest of preserving Kahnawà:ke’s unique cultural heritage, the Language and Cultural Center was established in 1978. The Center features a number of books in its extensive library, as well as a number of other resources for scholars, or for those who simply have a general interest in learning about the Kanien’keha:ka and Haudenosaunee People. The Center hosts several art exhibits, featuring the works of local and other Native Artisans. The Center is open Monday to Friday 8:30 am to 4:00 pm for self-guided tours. Also, guided tours are available by request and for a small fee.

Tel: 450-638-0880
or visit:
Kanien’kehá:ka Onkwawén:na Raotitióhkwa Language and Cultural Center

Quebec Bridge Memorial

In 2007, Kahnawà:ke commemorated the 100th anniversary of the Quebec Bridge (Pont de Québec) collapse, a tragic event having taken the lives of 76 men; 26 Canadians, 17 Americans, and 33 men from our community were lost on that fateful day. Of the 10 survivors, 3 of those men were from Kahnawà:ke.

During its construction in 1907, the Quebec Bridge was anticipated to be the future eighth wonder of the world as it marked a tremendous feat of engineering. It was designed to be the longest cantilever bridge in the world with 1,800 ft. single span 150 feet above the water to accommodate passing ships. Further, the bridge needed to be multifunctional and fit two railway tracks, two streetcar tracks and two roadways. The bridge ultimately enabled the City of Quebec to open itself politically and economically to the rest of the world.

On August 29, 1907, at 5:36 PM, the 19,000-ton south half of the bridge came crashing down and was reported to have taken all of 15 seconds to do so. Among the 33 Kahnawà:ke Ironworkers we lost, 8 of the men were some of Kahnawà:ke’s finest lacrosse players. The departed were beloved sons, fathers, husbands and almost every family in Kahnawà:ke was affected by the loss of the men during the disaster. The loss to the community would be the equivalent of losing 106 men today, in other words representing 1.32% of the population.

On Monday, September 2nd, 1907, a funeral service was held in Kahnawà:ke for the 8 men whose bodies were recovered. By 1910, the remains of 18 men were returned to Kahnawà:ke. The bodies of forty men were never recovered including 15 from Kahnawà:ke.

A ceremony took place at a memorial site chosen by the community on August 29, 2007. A 40 ft replica of the steel structure can be seen as well as 36 tree markers commemorating the 33 men who died, and 3 survivors which were planted by the descendants’ family members. The oldest Kahnawà:ke ironworkers unveiled a monument displaying the names of the fallen with a memorable inscription in Kanien’kéha about the loss of life, the days of mourning, the devastation felt by the community, the aftereffects on the families.

Cenotaph Honoring Our Military Service

Members of our community have served in every modern conflict since WWI, in either the Canadian or American armed services. A cenotaph stands across from the St. Francis Xavier Mission. The stoic monument lists the names of those Kahnawakeró:non (Mohawk Men & Woman from Kahnawà:ke) who courageously gave their lives in both World Wars and the Korean conflict. It is a testament to the courage and sense of duty which the people of the community exemplify. The army tank was delivered to Kahnawà:ke in the spring 2015 in honor of those who served in the Military. The Tank is exhibited in front of the Kahnawà:ke Legion Branch 219.

The War Of 1812 Memorial

The memorial commemorates Aboriginal Contributions in the War of 1812. Mohawk Warriors fought alongside British Soldiers and Canadian Militia in all theatres of war and were the deciding factor in many battles.