Thohyanoken Storm Brant
Storm was raised in Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory and now lives in Kahnawake, a Mohawk community just west of Montreal. He has always felt as though he was raised with more cultural awareness than many of his peers, and this created a discord during his adolescence. Feeling isolated in an education system that he felt perpetuated a lack of understanding of his culture and history, Storm has had a rebellious youth. "My mom didn't want me going to high school because of all the trouble I was getting into," he says. Instead of sending him to the local public school in nearby Belleville, Storm's mom enrolled him in the Akwesasne Freedom School - one of the first schools to implement Mohawk language immersion - about 300 kilometers east of Tyendinaga, where he says he had a very positive experience. "It helped me out a lot," he says. "It kept me grounded. If I was never grounded, I don't know, I'd be gone. Gone somewhere else."
While living in Tyendinaga, Storm set up a recording studio and art space in his community. Storm says music plays an essential role in his life, and was a large part of his family culture when he was growing up. "Music was always there," says Storm, "I just didn't channel my energy towards it until later, until I understood that maybe it'd be a healthier way to express my feelings, to bring that inside and put it outside of myself." A sound engineer and rapper, Storm aims to one day create an album entirely in the Mohawk language.