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Jake & Judy Swamp
Jake Swamp was a distinguished and beloved elder, peacemaker and changemaker. You can read his bio below and read about his work at RDI in Making Peace at D-Q University.
Jake Swamp resides in Akwesasne with his wife Judy, has seven children, twenty three grandchildren and twelve great grandchildren. He is presently employed with the Men for Change Program in Akwesasne, which is a program through the Iethi'nisten:ha Family Violence Shelter. Jake works with men using the Haudenosaunee culture as a basis for positive change within themselves as well as within their families.
For over thirty seven years, Jake was a Mohawk Sub-Chief and representative on the Grand Council of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Confederacy and has offered a wide range of experience in Indigenous, environmental and social issues both locally and nationally and internationally. Jake has held the position as a leader of the Akwesasne Mohawk Nation with responsibilities such as presiding over thanksgiving ceremonies, birth and marriage ceremonies, counseling, funeral rites, and the politics of the nation and confederacy. Jake has inspired a new generation of Mohawk leaders and teachers who are now taking the place of Elders in the communities of the Iroquois and was directly involved in the creation of the Akwesasne Freedom School - a Mohawk language immersion school of critical acclaim that has been an inspiration to many First Nation peoples in the United States and Canada. Jake has inspired hundreds of people of many races and cultures through working with a number of influential organizations.
As result of his thirty seven years experience as a sub-chief of the Mohawk Nation and international ambassador, Jake has been traveling around the world, planting "Trees of Peace" in diverse places such as Israel, Australia, South America, United Nations, Morroco, Japan, Thailand, and many colleges and universities in the United States and Canada. Through his tree planting efforts, Jake has inspired the planting of over 200 million trees. Jake continues to inspire many college students of all races and backgrounds through his extensive lecturing schedule which takes him to different universities and other speaking engagements a year.
Jake has met with the Dalai Lama on two occasions and was able to share each other’s vision in the promotion of global peace. Jake has appeared on the television program Five Hundred Nations, which has become educational software; Ancient Prophecies which aired in 1994 on NBC, Finite Oceans which aired on the Discovery channel in 1994; and educational display videos for the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Jake is the author of the children's book Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message (Lee & Low Books), which has been translated into five languages and was featured on the PBS television show Reading Rainbow. Other projects include The Peacemaker's Journey audiocassette produced by Parabola Magazine (1996), The U.S. Constitution & The Great Law of Peace: A Comparison (2004) and was a consultant on the film Dreamkeeper by Hallmark Entertainment (2003). Jake Swamp has and continues to work tirelessly for the communities of the Iroquois people by bridging cultural difference in the spirit of respectful dialogue and collective action in addressing environmental and social problems.
Kanerataronkwas, Judy Swamp, was born in Akwesasne Mohawk Territory in the year 1941. She was raised on Cornwall Island Ontario with her sisters and one brother. Her parents were Louis and Eva Point. She was brought up in a home that was totally traditional in a time when it was difficult to practice native culture. She met and Married Jake Swamp raising their seven children in the traditional ways of their people. Today Judy has twenty three grandchildren and twelve great grandchildren. Judy is very active in the service of her community and nation’s affairs. During the many struggles of the native people’s during the sixties to the present time Judy was always there to be depended on for her unwavering strength and support. She and her family went to Ganienkeh to support the repossession of the traditional homeland of the Mohawk people in 1974. In 1977 she went to join with the walkers on the longest walk to protest against the abrogation of Indian treaties. In 1978 she took part in the longest run. In 1979 – 1981 she and her family lived at the Raquette Point encampment surrounded by New York State police. Judy has travelled to many different countries sharing her cultural teachings with others. Countries visited, Australia, Italy, Columbia and Israel. Judy worked for a number of years for the Akwesasne Child and Family services as a traditional support worker. Now retired and continuing a busy schedule teaching her grandchildren basic knowledge about cultural ways. Judy learned many skills from her mother who was a clan mother for many years and always willing to pass it on.