TTO unveils first school bus for Kawenna’ón:we school program

Children enrolled at Tsi Tyónnheht Onkwawén:na (TTO) Language and Cultural Centre in the Kawenna’ón:we school program — senior kindergarten through Grade 4 — and Totáhne, the language nursery program, have a new way to get to class.

TTO has purchased its first school bus and hired a driver and bus monitor, according to a release from TTO.

“Through these programs, children as young as age three and up to 10 are receiving instruction and care in their language, in their culture, and in an environment that cherishes and celebrates Onkwehonwenéha, our ways of being in the world,” said Callie Hill, TTO’s Executive Director. “And as excellent as these learning environments are, we’re always seeking ways to improve the experience for our kids and their parents. We are pleased to celebrate these new additions to the TTO family and thank the many generous donors who have made this dream a reality.”

According to the release, the 28-passenger Ford E-450 was purchased from Leeds Transit and was received by TTO in February 2023. It will be used to bring school-aged kids to and from TTO’s school programs and, subject to availability, will support cultural programming in the community.

“We’re pleased to support the work of TTO and its children’s and cultural programming by making it more accessible for members of the community,” said Josh Hill, Councillor on the Tyendinaga Mohawk Council. “Tyendinaga Mohawk Council works daily to foster a healthy, sustainable Kanyen’kehá:ka community built on and united by our language, culture, traditions, knowledge, and history, and organizations like TTO are important community partners as we work to realize this vision. We look forward to seeing this bus on the road throughout the community for years to come.”

TTO said that funding for the bus, as well as salaries for the bus driver and monitor, came from supporters including the parents and families of Totáhne and Kawenna’ón:we, the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte, Canada Helps, Tyendinaga Giveaways, Bev Hill, Mohawk Duty Free, and Richard Sager.

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