Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Richard Walsh-Bowers

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


Community psychology is strongly committed to the value of cultural relativity and diversity. Acquiring knowledge regarding cultural differences is essential if community psychology is to realize this value. This paper provides a culture specific perspective on the form and meaning of a knowledge system rooted in traditional Mohawk thought. The academic literature regarding research on Native people reveals an ethnocentric description of native reality. My premise is that research in Native communities has been ideologically biased by virtue of the interpretation of native reality from the perspective of mainstream western scientific assumptions. The ability to obtain culturally relevant knowledge hinges on our ability to understand and come to knowledge in a culturally relevant way. Thus, there is a need for a knowledge production system that is rooted in traditional Native thought. Utilizing a qualitative and collaborative approach I obtain the perspectives of five people, who are members of the Mohawk Nation who reside in the Six Nation of the Grand River Community, on the concept of a Native science and a knowledge system rooted in traditional Mohawk thought. The results of the study indicated that there is a high degree of congruity between the generalized Native scientific concepts and practices with Mohawk specific traditional beliefs and practices. The study illuminates Mohawk specific teachings and how these teachings shape the meaning and practice of a knowledge system rooted in traditional Mohawk thought.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season