PHOTO: Kahentawaks Tiewishaw, founder of Revital Software.

Revitalizing Indigenous Languages

April 25, 2023

 How Kahentawaks’ Immersion Education and Video Games are Changing the Game

Kahentawaks Tiewishaw, a Bear Clan Mohawk from Conestoga, had a childhood steeped in Indigenous language and culture. She attended the Mohawk immersion school where she learned traditional Mohawk social songs and dances, participated in workshops to create water drums and rattles, and played in the bush during recess. 

Kahentawaks didn’t realize the value of her education until she attended a non-Indigenous school. She credits her immersion education for giving her a strong identity and appreciation for Indigenous culture.

Kahentawaks’ passion for language revitalization and cultural preservation was ignited when she realized the decline in the use of Indigenous languages. She founded Revital Software, a company that creates video games to help revitalize Indigenous languages in a fun and engaging way. The games provide a fun and interactive way to learn and practice language skills, helping to preserve Indigenous languages for future generations.

Kahentawaks’ work is making a significant impact in the Indigenous community. She believes that language revitalization is an important tool for cultural preservation and empowerment, saying, “Our language is so important. It holds everything, it holds the teachings, it holds the stories, it holds our knowledge.”

Through her journey as an Indigenous entrepreneur, Kahentawaks has learned valuable lessons. She encourages other Indigenous entrepreneurs to start where they’re comfortable and take one little step at a time. She also believes in giving her team space to make mistakes and learn and not micromanaging them. Trusting her team and giving them room to grow and learn has led to a more successful and collaborative business.

Kahentawaks’ journey is a testament to the power of following your dreams and taking action to make them a reality. As Indigenous entrepreneurs, we have the power to create change and make a difference. Tiewishaw’s work is making an impact in her community and beyond, and her story inspires us all to pursue our dreams and make a difference in our communities.

Listen to the to hear more of Kahetawaks’ journey through entrepreneurship and how she is using language to empower her community.