The mission of the library is to provide public library services, to be an excellent source of cultural information, to advance literacy and to be a source of children programming. We aim to provide a gathering place, to serve as a place for enlightenment, a place where people can exchange knowledge and learning, to be a circle of communication and a showcase for Kahnawake expressions.
The following values guide both our short and long term goals: providing excellent customer service, promoting lifelong learning and literacy, serving our community, accountability and integrity in all matters and a commitment to growth and innovation.
The Skawenni:io Tsi Iewennahnotahkhwa Kahnawake Library began as a grass-roots initiative in 2002, after a letter from 13-year-old Skawenniio Barnes appeared in The Eastern Door newspaper, in which her heartfelt words reminded us of the considerable value of public libraries and how the lack of this basic service is disadvantageous to a community, particularly for students like herself, who were studying and working towards a brighter future through education.
The letter sparked a movement to move forward and establish a temporary library to serve an immediate need, while laying the groundwork for the establishment of a permanent facility.
Many people from Kahnawake and beyond responded – planning, fundraising, and collecting books – no small feat, as thousands of book donations poured in from a CBC Radio-sponsored book drive in Montreal. It has been a long journey, which has proven to be quite challenging, but inspiring as well.