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This profile was last updated on 11/8/02  and contains information from public web pages.

John Thoronhiate Curotte

Wrong John Thoronhiate Curotte?

Ceremonial and Political Spokespe...

Mohawk Trail Longhouse
 
Background

Employment History

  • Community Member
  • Kahnawake Survival School
Web References
Eastern Door Volume 11 Number 41
www.easterndoor.com, 8 Nov 2002 [cached]
John Curotte, Elder
...
John Thoronhiate Curotte, a well-known community member and much respected elder in Kahnawake, passed to spirit world this past Tuesday evening after a hard fought battle with complications from diabetes.His passing bring much sadness to the people of Kahnawake, as he had an impact on so many people through his career as an ironworker, farmer and with the Kahnawake Survival School; but mainly through his participation with the Longhouse.
It was in 1963 when John Curotte and his son Joe reinstated into the Longhouse.
...
John went on to influence many people to turn towards our traditions in the decades that followed.
John was born at the Kateri Hospital in 1923, delivered by Dr. Jacobs . He was raised on his father's farm, across the road from the site of the Caughnawaga Golf Club.It was there that John learned about animals and farming, skills which would later play an important part in Kahnawake education.He attended the elementary school in the village only until grade four when his father withdrew him because he believed that "you could not eat on books."Yet John received a wide and rich education through many other ways.
John's life on the farm helped him develop a good work ethic and pride that carried into his adult career as an ironworker.He worked throughout the northeastern United States, the Maritimes and across the river in Lachine at the Northern Electric plant.In 1979 he began his career at the Kahnawake Survival School.It was here that his nickname "Baba" became widespread as he endeared himself to many students and educators.At Survival School, John operated the farm and helped counsel students and staff as the school elder.Most people can recall a Baba John farm story and he forged a special and close relationship with author, farmer and teacher H. Gordon Green.
But John was best known for his contribution to the Longhouse.He sat behind Turtle Clan Chief Angus Lahache, eventually being asked to take his place.John presided over ceremonies and sat in council until recent times.John was never a Condoled Chief, but he sat with the Turtle Clan title of Tekarihoken.As with any position, he had to deal with many controversial issues and he always stood by his principles.John withdrew from Longhouse activities in the latter 1980s.Eventually, he was instrumental in the expansion of the Longhouse on Mohawk Trail.He resumed responsibilities as a ceremonial and political spokesperson at the Mohawk Trail Longhouse as it developed and grew.
As interest in the ways of our traditions increased, so did John's stature in the community.He was always willing to teach what he knew and people gravitated to him.More than just a teacher, he imparted a down-home wisdom which manifested itself through our traditions.He always had kind words for those who sought his help.
John travelled to many different communities, both Aboriginal and non-Native, sharing the life and experiences of the Kanien'keha:ka.He met many people from around the world and presided at many a gathering.He greeted the Dali Lama of Tibet in Montreal.With that smile on his lips and that twinkle in his eyes, John would tell people that he and the Dali Lama were close friends.The Dali Lama would say to him, "Hello, John."And John would answer, "Hello, Dali."
As his age advanced and health concerns increased, John gradually reduced his duties in the Longhouse.But even in his reduced role he was happy to receive guests who sought his advice or a piece of his knowledge.
...
John married Grace Osoti:io Diabo in 1945 and is survived by her, their five children - Roy, Joseph, Josie, Russel and Audrey - sons and daughters-in-law, 16 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Eastern Door Volume 11 Number 41
www.easterndoor.com, 8 Nov 2002 [cached]
John Curotte, Elder
John Thoronhiate Curotte, a well-known community member and much respected elder in Kahnawake, passed to spirit world this past Tuesday evening after a hard fought battle with complications from diabetes.His passing bring much sadness to the people of Kahnawake, as he had an impact on so many people through his career as an ironworker, farmer and with the Kahnawake Survival School; but mainly through his participation with the Longhouse.
Eastern Door Volume 11 Number 41
www.easterndoor.com, 8 Nov 2002 [cached]
John Curotte, Elder
John Thoronhiate Curotte, a well-known community member and much respected elder in Kahnawake, passed to spirit world this past Tuesday evening after a hard fought battle with complications from diabetes.His passing bring much sadness to the people of Kahnawake, as he had an impact on so many people through his career as an ironworker, farmer and with the Kahnawake Survival School; but mainly through his participation with the Longhouse.
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