Tsi Tiotonhontsatáhsawe

Tsi Tiotonhontsatáhsawe

Tsi Tiotonhontsatáhsawe

Tsi Nihotirihò:ten ne Ratironhia’kehró:non

a 2.5D animated version of the Haudenosaunee Creation Story in Kanien’kéha

Kanien’kehá:ka Onkwawén:na Raotitióhkwa Language and Cultural Center (KOR) and Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace/Initiative for Indigenous Futures (AbTeC/IIF) have teamed up to create Tsi Tiotonhontsatáhsawe, an animated version of the Haudenosaunee Creation Story narrated completely in Kanien’kéha (Mohawk). The movie will form the basis of a set of culturally appropriate curriculum materials for Kanien’kéha Ratiwennahní:rats, KOR’s adult Kanien’kéha immersion program. 

“It is of vital importance that we, as Onkwehón:we, develop our own rich, relevant and meaningful resources that address the unique needs and interests of Onkwehón:we students. As such, it was imperative that we develop curriculum around our epic creation story.”

Tsi Tiotonhontsatáhsawe began over ten years ago when, after being asked by students for culturally specific learning materials, KOR began researching our creation story. In addition to consulting written references, they met with knowledge-keepers from throughout the Confederacy, gathering various parts of the story, some in Kanien’kéha, some in other Haudenosaunee languages, some in English. Once they had all the pieces, they wrote it into a cohesive narrative, and then translated it into Kanien’kéha.

KOR then began to create artwork to accompany the narrative. However, after making dozens of drawings, they found they did not have the capacity or expertise to create a media production. 

In May 2018, they approached AbTeC, who agreed to develop the first 30 minutes of the script. 

We decided to use a technique known as 2.5D animation. It uses two-dimensional image assets, such as a drawing of a character, a longhouse, or a tree, and places them onto different image planes to give a 3D effect. This way we could bring to life the beautiful art that had already been created.

Tsi Tiotonhontsatáhsawe will fully come to life when it is used in KOR’s immersion classes. We imagine future community activities based around the movie, including regular public screenings and broadcasts on Kahnawake’s local cable channel. Its beneficial long-term effects include a reusable resource that promotes greater language depth, and a media piece that can be a shared cultural event and artifact.


Kanien’kehá:ka Onkwawén:na Raotitióhkwa Language and Cultural Center 

Trina Stacey

Curriculum Resource Coordinator

Transcription & Translation


Teiowisonte Thomas Deer

Art Direction & Music Coordinator

Reaghan Tarbell

Executive Director

Lisa Phillips

Executive Director

Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace


Jason Edward Lewis 

Executive Producers

Nancy Elizabeth Townsend


Ray Caplin

Character Animation & Compositing

Waylon  Wilson

Project Coordinator

Motion Graphics & Compositing

Kaia’tanoron Dumoulin


Assistant Character Design

Background and Prop Art

Aaron Schmit


Shawn Mullen

Sound Design

Unna Regino

Graphic Design

Nima Navab

Technical Director



Funded by

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council

Initiative for Indigenous Futures

Additional Funding

2019 Elspeth McConnell Fine Arts Award

Created at

Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace

Obx Labs