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Biography of Tekaronianeken Jake Swamp

Posted: Sun Sep 12, 2010 10:45 am
by edfrank
Biography of Tekaronianeken Jake Swamp ... pageID=290
Tekaronianeken, meaning "Where two skies come together", was born at home at Akwesasne Mohawk Nation Territory in 1941. He married Judy Point of Akwesasne and they raised seven children together.
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For over thirty years, Jake was a Mohawk Sub-chief and representative of the Mohawk Nation of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Confederacy. In holding the position as a leader of the Akwesasne Mohawk Nation his responsibilities included presiding over thanksgiving ceremonies, birth and marriage ceremonies, counseling, funeral rites, and the politics of the nation and confederacy.

In addition to nation and community responsibilities, Jake has been involved in many political activities over the years, which are an indication of his commitment to the plight of the Indigineous people of the Americas. Jake's involvement with politics began in the late 1960’s when Native People across America were fighting for their Human and Treaty Rights. Participating in the 1969 International Seaway Bridge Blockade was just the beginning of many initiatives of activism for Jake Swamp. Jake Swamp was of the delegation that was involved with the negotiations after the Wounded Knee occupation, participated in the Longest Walk, and was also a part of the Ganienkeh Land reclamation. He attended the Russell Tribunal in the Netherlands, and has traveled to Geneva, Switzerland as a delegate of the Haudenosaunee Iroquois Confederacy.
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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. He was also director of an environmental education project and introduced aqua-culture to the community of Akwesasne. He aso managed C.K.O.N Radio Station in which he developed a Mohawk language program with the elders of Akwesasne. Jake has inspired hundreds of people of many races and cultures through working with a number of influential organizations.

In 1982, Jake Swamp initiated the Tree of Peace Society which is based on the teachings of the Peacemaker and the formation of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Confederacy. The mandate is to provide a historical review of the contributions of the Iroquois Confederacy and to re-enact the tree planting ceremony by buying the weapons of war involving all races and creeds to uphold the principles of the Great Law of Peace.
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The Tree of Peace Society was sanctioned by the Mohawk Nation Council of Chiefs in 1985 and by the Grand Council of the Haudenosaunee as an effective means of pursuing and implementing cultural and environmental education. The Tree of Peace Society was incorporated as a 501(c)3 Non-Profit corporation in New York State in 1994.

As result of his thirty years experience as a sub-chief of the Mohawk Nation and international ambassador, Jake has been traveling around the world, doing tree planting ceremonies in diverse places such as Israel, Australia, South America, England, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland, Italy, Morroco, Japan, Thailand, France, Germany and Sweden. He has also planted a tree at St. Johns' Cathedral in New York City and over twenty colleges and universities in the United States and Canada. Through his tree planting efforts, Jake has inspired the planting of over 200 million trees. He continues to inspire many college students of all races and backgrounds through his extensive lecturing schedule which takes him to over 10 universities and other speaking engagements a year.
1988 Tree Planting, Kansas City
1988 Tree Planting, Kansas City
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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 Chicago. 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. Jake also authored The Peacemaker's Journey audiocassette produced by Parabola Magazine (1996).
Jake Swamp currently serves as President of the Tree of Peace Society and maintains an active schedule of lectures, workshops and tree plantings. He was previously employed with the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne facilitating the "Men for Change" program at the Iethinistenha Family Violence Shelter, working with men on domestic violence issues. Today he works as a cultural advisor for the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne's Child and Family Services. Jake continues to reside in Akwesasne with his wife Judy. Their family has grown to include 23 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren.
YouTube Videos:


Re: Biography of Tekaronianeken Jake Swamp

Posted: Sun Sep 12, 2010 11:16 am
by dbhguru

Thanks very much for this posting. Jake has planted two trees in MTSF and is well aware of his tree. He was the one who gave me official permission to name trees after Mohawk elders. He once took me and my former wife Jani to Moss Lake in the Adirondacks and shared his involvement with and Indian settlement he helped to establish there. It was a singular honor. He also preside over a ceremony at the great yellow birch at Pisco Lake in the southwestern Adirondacks. I took a group from the Indian settlement at Fonda, NY to the tree. I have many great memories of events with Native peoples that involve trees. If any person deserves a great white pine named after him, it is most certainly Jake. I have an old video of him giving an address at the pavilion at Mohawk. Priceless.

Jani and I were once members of the Trees of Peace Society. Being in Jake's company, provides strong reminders of the mighty Iroquois Confederacy in our nation's history. BTW, Jake planted at tree at a ceremony in Cook Forest State Park. Jani arranged it with Jake and Dale made it happen.


Re: Biography of Tekaronianeken Jake Swamp

Posted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 10:41 am
by edfrank
Old slides of the Jake Swamp Tree of Peace ceremony at Cook Forest, 1995.

planted by the
sanctioned by
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Jake Swamp
Jake Swamp
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Jake Swamp Honoring Fire

Posted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 8:58 pm
by edfrank
Jake Swamp Honoring Fire
On Facebook: ... 936?v=wall
This page is to honor and remember friend and elder Jake Swamp, who made his transition to the ancestors early in the morning of the 15th of October 2010 around 130AM EST.

Through his efforts at the Tree of Peace society and many other endeavors, Jake helped to bring a message of peace to thousands of people around the world.

This page is being created by his friends in the 8 Shields Mentoring movement who are thankful to have been inspired over and over again by this amazing elder with his unwavering commitment of sharing a message of peace and unity. Our condolences and heartfelt prayers go out to Jake's family and community.

Many communities around the world that he reached in his life are tending honoring fires in his remembrance in these four days since his passing.

Several fires in Jake's honor have already been lit in various communities (as of 3PM PST) and we are preparing a fire to be lit here in the Santa Cruz area of California by sundown.

Please use this page to stay in touch as we honor and remember an amazing friend and elder in his life and passing. We invite all our friends in the 8 Shields Mentoring network and beyond to get involved and create an honoring fire in your community as well.

Obituary ... &topic=272
Hello, this obituary originally posted during the first days after Jake's passing has been updated by his family.

Jake Swamp-Tekaronianeken, 68, the Wolf Clan Mohawk diplomat, author, teacher, chief, husband, father, grandparent and great-grandparent passed into the spirit world on October 15, 2010 in Massena.

Swamp was one of the most respected and honoured Mohawk Iroquois leaders of the past century. He was a member of the Mohawk Nation Council of Chiefs for over three decades, a position in which he served as a counselor, spiritual leader, legislator and ambassador. He was an exceptional orator with a powerful command of the Mohawk language. He possessed great knowledge as to the cultural heritage of the Haudenosaunee and shared that wisdom not only with his people but at forums, conferences and classes across the planet. He was known not only for his knowledge but for his teaching skills which were defined by his unique sense of humor.

When Skennenrahawi (the Peacemaker) established the Haudenosaunee Confederacy nearly 1000 years ago he set standards for leadership which were embodied in Tekaronianeken. He was patient, compassionate, humble, generous, intelligent and kind. Whenever he was called upon to serve the needs of the Haudenosaunee he did so without hesitation. He established the Tree of Peace Society in 1984 to promote the teachings of the Skennenrahawi while advocating greater ecological awareness and sensitivity. Swamp planted hundreds of Peace Trees in many nations, an activity begun with the founding of the Confederacy. Through his example millions of trees have taken root around the world from Israel to Australia, Venezuela to Spain and in all regions of North America.

Jake Swamp was a founder of the Akwesasne Freedom School in 1979 and helped develop a curriculum which was based on the traditional values of the Haudenosaunee. He managed Radio CKON at Akwesasne and not only oversaw its Native based programming but helped secure its status as the only Native licensed broadcast facility in the Americas.

Swamp served as a Mohawk Nation diplomat in many instances. He addressed the Fourth Russell Tribunal in the Netherlands, was a delegate to the United Nations, met with leaders of foreign nations and advised representatives from the US Congress and Canadian Parliament. He worked closely with scholars to have the US Senate pass a resolution acknowledging the influence of the Haudenosaunee on the US Constitution and thereby initiated a revolution in the understanding of American history. He was a delegate to two sessions of the World Parliament of Religions where he was affectionately called "el jeffe".

As a member of the Mohawk Nation, Tekaronianeken took an active role in preserving the ceremonial activities of the longhouse people. At each one of the rituals he rose from his seat as a Wolf Clan leader to address the people, with the beauty of his words calling their attention to those rituals which express the nation’s collective gratitude to the natural world for the blessings of life. He presented infants to the people, gave advice to newlyweds and spoke words of condolence to those who suffered the loss of their loved ones.

There is another requirement for leadership set by Skennenrahawi, perhaps the most important of all. Before one can become a leader that person has to have the love and support of their family and must in turn love them; peace in the home brought about clarity in council. Tekaronianeken was a devoted family man, married to Judy Point Swamp for 49 years. Theirs was a solid and stable union defined by mutual respect, admiration and a quiet yet powerful affection. Jake was a highly skilled ironworker, he was one of the legendary Mohawk “skywalkers”, travelling great distances to provide for his wife and children. This determination to insure his family's health and security was a legacy of his parents, the late Leo and Charlotte Papineau Swamp. Jake was the second child of fourteen, in a family raised to be self reliant, hardworking and creative.

He is leaving behind seven children, twenty three grandchildren, and thirteen great grandchildren, many of whom are now assuming their own leadership roles within the Nation. He was a devoted lacrosse fan and an avid gardener and was rightly proud of the athletic skills of his family.

It is taught by the Haudenosaunee that whatever one does in life it is essential to leave things better than when they were found, to take into consideration the effect of one's actions on the seventh generation into the future. Throughout his wonderful life Tekaronianeken abided by this principle. Through his books, his words and his actions he brought great honour to his family, his community, the Mohawk Nation and the Haudenosaunee.

He is survived by his wife, Judy; 7 children, Andrew Swamp; Angela (Alec) Elijah, Glenn (Shannon) Swamp, Philip (Terri) Swamp, Leona (Ryan) Phillips, Kahontineh Swamp (Gibson), Skahendowaneh (Cheyanne) Swamp, all of Akwesasne; 23 grandchilden, 13 great grandchildren; 12 siblings, Leonard Swamp, Raymond Swamp, Lawrence (Dyan) Swamp, Herman (Diane) Swamp, Cecilia (Paul) King, Janice Sharrow (Vince Phillips), Shirley Oakes, Elizabeth (Kevin) Nanticoke, Ronald (Joanne) Swamp, Roy (Peggy) Swamp, Josephine Swamp, and Theresa (Sky) Fox; a sister-in-law, Sylvia Swamp, all of Akwesasne, and many nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his parents; a brother, Joseph; a grandson, Rathahi:ne; and a granddaughter, Kanentakwas.

Calling hours began Saturday, October 16 at 7 pm at the Akwesasne Homemakers, River Road, Akwesasne, Quebec. Funeral services were held Monday, October 18 at 11:00 AM at the Mohawk Nation Longhouse with Richard Cook Jr., Bear Clan and Darryl Thompson, Wolf Clan officiating. Burial followed in Solomon Road Cemetery in Frogtown, Akwesasne.

Remebrances and Fire Stories ... &topic=264


Re: Biography of Tekaronianeken Jake Swamp

Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 11:51 am
by dbhguru

Another superb post on Jake. Thanks. The time that Jani and I spent in his company now seems priceless. We once went to Piseco Lake in the southwestern Adirondacks where Jake held a ceremony at the great yellow birch. We drove from Kanatsiohareke, the Mohawk settlement at Fonda, NY. I led everyone to the site and then Jake took over. When he spoke, we knew we were hearing words from the heart.


Re: Biography of Tekaronianeken Jake Swamp

Posted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 7:45 am
by forbespd

I am looking to find whomever is working on keeping Tree of Peace Society going.
I heard wife Judy had health problems, and maybe daughter(s) getting involved??

My cousins founded and run Six Nations Indian Museum in Onchiota, NY.
I am heading up there via Buffalo/Canada tomorrow for several days.

Any ideas?

Peter Forbes
202 746 6636

Re: Biography of Tekaronianeken Jake Swamp

Posted: Fri Aug 22, 2014 3:34 pm
by edfrank

No I don't. Hopefully Bob Leveret will have some idea.


Re: Biography of Tekaronianeken Jake Swamp

Posted: Fri Aug 22, 2014 9:10 pm
by Don
I met him once, he had a presence about him. Very well done, Ed.

Re: Biography of Tekaronianeken Jake Swamp

Posted: Sat Aug 23, 2014 9:17 am
by Larry Tucei
Ed- I remember his passing in 2010 but somehow I missed this posting. What a fantastic job you did in honoring this great Native American! I would have liked to have met someone like him. When I come up to visit Bob, you and everyone in New England I'll make sure to talk to him at the great Pine named in his honor. Larry