Museums and Attractions

St. Francis Xavier Mission - Shrine of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha

The historic mission was first established in 1667 when the Kanien’kehá:ha (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 1907 Quebec Bridge (Pont de Québec) collapse killing 75 workers. Thirty-three men from Kahnawà:ke died on that fateful day and only three survived.

The Quebec Bridge —which at the time was referred to as the future eighth wonder of the world, because its construction represented such a colossal challenge for the era—enabled the city of Quebec to open itself politically and economically to the rest of the world. To this day, the Quebec Bridge is the longest cantilever bridge in the world and was designed to support two railway tracks and a concrete sidewalk.

On August 29, 1907, at 5:37 pm, the 19,000-ton south half of the bridge, came crashing down. 86 men were working on the bridge at the time and only 11 survived. Among those killed were 25 Canadians, 17 Americans and 33 Ironworkers from Kahnawà:ke. Eight of these men were some of the finest Kahnawà:ke Lacrosse payers. The loss to Kahnawà:ke would be equal to losing 106 men today, representing 1.32% of the population. Not to mention the immense loss to families and our community.

On Monday, September 2nd, 1907, a funeral service was held in Kahnawà:ke for the eight 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.

In honour of those who were lost, a memorial was placed in the Catholic Cemetery. Engraved in the monument are the names of 12 of the 15 men whose bodies were never recovered. It is not known why the names of three of the men are not shown.

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.

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