MetroFocus

FULL EPISODE

MetroFocus: November 12, 2020

As the current administration continues to contest the results of the election, a Trump insider examines the President’s strategy to predict his next move. Sam Nunberg, former political advisor to Trump’s 2016 campaign joins us for this deep dive into the mind of Donald Trump. Also, in celebration of Native American Heritage Month, Jenna Flanagan takes us inside the Akwesasne Freedom School.

AIRED: November 12, 2020 | 0:28:12
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
TRANSCRIPT

>>> THIS IS "METROFOCUS" WITH

RAFAEL PI ROMAN, JACK FORD, AND

JENNA FLANAGAN.

>> "METROFOCUS" IS MADE POSSIBLE

BY

SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III,

SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA

PROGRAMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT

ANTI-SEMITISM.

BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG,

JANET PRINDLE SEIDLER,

JODY AND JOHN ARNHOLD,

CHERYL AND PHILIP MILSTEIN

FAMILY,

BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ,

JUDY AND JOSH WESTON,

DR. ROBERT C. AND TINA SOHN

FOUNDATION.

>>> GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO

METROFOCUS.

I AM JACK FORD.

IT HAS BEEN NINE DAYS NOW SINCE

ELECTION DAY AND FIVE DAYS SINCE

THE VARIOUS NEWS ORGANIZATIONS

PROJECTED THE WINNER OF THE

ELECTION AND THE NEXT PRESIDENT

OF THE UNITED STATES WOULD BE

JOE BIDEN.

IT'S BEEN NINE DAYS THAT HAS

BEEN DESCRIBED BY MANY PERHAPS

MOST AS FAIRLY CHAOTIC.

INDEED, SOMEWHAT REMINISCENT OF

THE 2000 ELECTION BETWEEN THEN

VICE PRESIDENT AL GORE AND THEN

GOVERNOR GEORGE BUSH, WHICH TOOK

FIVE WEEKS TO BE RESOLVED.

SO, THEN, WHAT IS BEHIND THE

CONDUCT OF PRESIDENT TRUMP AND

HIS ADVISERS AS THEY CONTINUE TO

QUESTION THE VALIDITY AND THE

INTEGRITY OF THE ELECTION, AS

THEY FILE LAWSUIT AFTER LAWSUIT,

CONTAINING ALLEGATIONS THAT MANY

EXPERTS ON BOTH SIDES OF THE

AISLE HAVE SAID EITHER DO NOT

HAVE A SUFFICIENT FACTUAL BASIS

OR IF THEY DO THAT THE

ALLEGATIONS DON'T RISE TO THE

LEVEL THAT WOULD WARRANT THE

REVERSAL OF THE ELECTION.

WHAT'S THE MINDSET OF THE

PRESIDENT?

TO HELP US UNDERSTAND THAT,

WE'RE PLEASED TO HAVE JOINING US

ONCE AGAIN HERE ON METROFOCUS,

SAM NUNBERG AN ADVISER FOR

PRESIDENT TRUMP DURING THE

CAMPAIGN OF 2016.

HE IS A POLITICAL STRATEGIST WHO

HAS WORKED WITH MANY.

ALSO AN ATTORNEY.

AND WE'RE DELIGHTED TO HAVE HIM

BACK WITH US.

SAM, GOOD TO SEE YOU AGAIN.

>> THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

>> LET'S LOOK AT THESE

CHRONOLOGICALLY IF WE CAN.

AS I INDICATED IN THE

INTRODUCTION YOU CAN PROVIDE US

WITH AN INSIDER'S VIEW OF THIS.

I DON'T WANT TO ARGUE ABOUT THE

VARIOUS LAWSUITS.

THEY'RE GOING TO BE RESOLVED

INSIDE A COURTROOM.

BUT LET'S LOOK AT IT FROM A

POLITICAL PERSPECTIVE IF WE CAN.

SO STARTING WITH LITERALLY WEEKS

BEFORE THE ELECTION, INDEED,

PROBABLY MONTHS BEFORE THE

ELECTION, PRESIDENT TRUMP WAS

INTENT ON CLAIMING THAT VOTING

BY MAIL WOULD ESSENTIALLY BE

ILLEGAL AND WOULD DESTROY THE

INTEGRITY OF THIS ELECTION.

WE KNOW AND YOU KNOW AS A

STRATEGIST WE'VE HAD VOTING BY

MAIL IN THIS COUNTRY FOR

LITERALLY CENTURIES, AND

CERTAINLY SINCE THE MID 1900s.

WHAT DO YOU THINK, OR BETTER

QUESTION, WERE YOU SURPRISED TO

SEE PRESIDENT TRUMP BEFORE THE

ELECTION OUT THERE QUESTIONING

THE VALIDITY OF VOTING BY MAIL?

>> JACK, YOU HAVE TO REMEMBER

HOW THIS INITIALLY STARTED WITH

THE PRESIDENT COMPLAINING ABOUT

VOTING BY MAIL.

HE HAD TWEETED THAT PERHAPS THE

ELECTION SHOULD BE DELAYED.

HE HAD DONE THAT AT A POINT

WHERE ALL PRIVATE POLLING, ALL

INDICATORS SHOWED THAT IN FACT

HE WAS HEADING INTO A LANDSLIDE.

HE NEXT LATCHES ON TO MAIL-IN

VOTING AND THAT ISSUE, I THINK,

SPECIFICALLY TO REPUBLICANS AND

GENERALLY TO NEUTRAL OBSERVERS

COULD RESONATE BECAUSE YOU'RE

LOOKING AT THE SWING -- THE

SPECIFIC SWING STATES THAT ARE

D

GOING TO AFFECT THE ELECTION,

THE SO-CALLED BLUE WALL WHICH IS

IN FACT, BIDEN HAS WON BACK THAT

BLUE WALL, BUT THOSE STATES,

MICHIGAN, WISCONSIN,

PENNSYLVANIA IN PARTICULAR, AND

I KNOW THIS FOR A FACT BECAUSE I

STUDIED THEM, THEY ADJUSTED

THEIR LAWS FOR MAIL-IN BALLOTING

BECAUSE OF COVID.

AND THAT IN FACT HAD HELPED

DELIVER THE ELECTION I BELIEVE

TO JOE BIDEN.

THAT IS WHY REPUBLICANS OF

ALL -- WHETHER TRUMP SUPPORTERS

OR PEOPLE THAT VOTED FOR TRUMP

BUT WERE HOPING IF HE LOST HE IS

NO LONGER GOING TO BE PART OF

THE PARTY AT ALL OR DIE-HARD

SUPPORTERS AND PEOPLE THAT TRUMP

HAS BROUGHT INTO THE REPUBLICAN

PARTY.

THEY ARE ALL A LITTLE PERTURBED

BY THE WAY THE RESULTS LOOKED

AND THE WAY THEY HAPPENED ALSO

THAT NIGHT.

BECAUSE WHEN YOU GO TO SLEEP AT

12:00, 1:00 A.M. -- ->> LET ME

BECAUSE I DO WANT TO GET TO --

AT THIS STAGE AS I SAID I'M

INTERESTED IN THE BEHIND THE

SCENES IF YOU WILL.

SO YOU TALK ABOUT THAT.

AND THAT IS SOMETHING THAT WAS

DISCUSSED.

THE NOTION OF LEGISLATURES

CHANGING BECAUSE OF COVID.

THAT IS SOMETHING HISTORIANS

WILL TAKE A LOOK AT.

>> SORRY.

AND THE PENNSYLVANIA SUPREME

COURT I THINK.

>> RIGHT.

PENNSYLVANIA.

THEY'RE GOING TO REVISIT THIS.

AND WE SHOULD SAY, EXPERTS HAVE

SAID THAT IS A LEGITIMATE ISSUE

THAT HAS TO BE LOOKED AT AS

OPPOSED TO WHAT MANY EXPERTS

HAVE SAID THE OTHERS ARE NOT.

LET'S GET TO THE ELECTION NIGHT.

AND THEN IMMEDIATELY ELECTION

NIGHT AND SHORTLY THEREAFTER YOU

SEE THE PRESIDENT COME TO THE

LECTERN AND CLAIM I WON THIS

ELECTION.

IF YOU COUNT THE VALID VOTES I

WON.

COUNT THE ILLEGAL, HIS WORDS,

VOTES, THEN I DIDN'T.

ONCE AGAIN MY QUESTION TO YOU IS

HAVING WORKED WITH HIM WERE YOU

SURPRISED TO SEE HIM COME OUT

AND BE SO FORCEFUL SAYING THAT

THIS IS AN ILLEGAL ELECTION AND

IT IS BEING STOLEN FROM ME?

>> I WASN'T OBJECTIVELY AND I

WASN'T SUBJECTIVELY EITHER.

LET ME EXPLAIN.

OBJECTIVELY, LOOK, THE PRESIDENT

DONALD TRUMP AS YOU AND I KNOW

HIM FROM YOUR YEARS IN NEW YORK,

IS NEVER GOING TO ADMIT DEFEAT.

HE IS NEVER GOING TO ADMIT HE

WAS SOUNDLY OR FAIRLY DEFEATED.

AND SUBJECTIVELY, WE ALL

THOUGHT, REPUBLICANS WATCHING,

WE ALL THOUGHT AS WE GOT TO

ELECTION DAY IT WAS A 50/50

PROPOSITION, JACK, AS OPPOSED TO

IT BEING A 20/80 PROPOSITION

AFTER THE FIRST -- AND WHEN YOU

SAW THE NUMBERS COMING IN FROM

FLORIDA WHERE THE PRESIDENT NOT

ONLY WON BUT WON OUTSTANDINGLY

AND FLIPPED THE STATE AND YOU

SAW WHAT HAPPENED IN OHIO.

I THINK THAT IS AN IMPORTANT

POINT.

OHIO WHICH AS YOU KNOW IS FAIRLY

CLOSE TO MICHIGAN, FAIRLY CLOSE

TO WISCONSIN.

YOU SAW THAT HE WON.

BY THE NUMBERS THAT WE THOUGHT

THAT HE WAS PROJECTED TO WIN, I

WAS TOLD HE WAS PROJECTED TO

WIN.

THIS LOOKED AS IF HE HAD PULLED

IT OUT.

IT LOOKED AS IF HE HAD PULLED IT

OUT.

AND HE HAS STARTED SOMETHING

HERE TO EXPLAIN MORE QUICKLY IN

SUM IS THAT HE WENT FROM SOMEONE

WHO HE'S NOT GOING TO BE LOOKED

AT THE WAY THE REPUBLICAN RANK

AND FILE LOOKED AT JOHN McCAIN

OR MITT ROMNEY AFTER THEIR

LOSSES.

HE IS A RALLYING CRY.

THIS IS THE FIRST MAN TO WIN

OHIO AND FLORIDA AND LOSE AN

ELECTION SINCE NIXON IN '60.

>> AS YOU SAID HE GARNERED MORE

VOTES THAN ANY OTHER REPUBLICAN

IN HISTORY SO I THINK WHAT

YOU'RE SAYING IS HIS MINDSET,

LOOK AT ALL OF THOSE.

WOULD THAT NOT SUGGEST YOU ARE

GOING TO WIN.

>> RIGHT.

>> BUT THEN THE FACTS SHOW THAT

HE DIDN'T.

>> RIGHT.

AND THEN THE MAIL-IN BALLOTS

CAME.

THE MAIL-IN BALLOTS CAME.

AND I'M NOT GOING TO GO OVER ALL

OF THE STATES.

I WOULD SAY PENNSYLVANIA THERE

IS AN ISSUE AS YOU AND I AGREE

ON THAT NEEDS TO BE DECIDED BY

THE SUPREME COURT.

THEN THE MAIL-IN BALLOTS CAME

AND THE WAY THEY CAME IN

PSYCHOLOGICALLY FOR REPUBLICANS

AND FOR PEOPLE THAT CONSUME NEWS

FROM DIFFERENT, YOU KNOW, NEWS

SETS THEY LOOK AT, THEY GO TO

SLEEP AT 1:00 IN THE MORNING AND

THEY WAKE UP AND SUDDENLY YOU

LOOK AT MICHIGAN.

HE'S WINNING.

THEN SUDDENLY, YOU KNOW, A

HUNDRED THOUSAND, BOOM, COMES IN

FOR JOE BIDEN.

>> ALMOST LIKE A BOOMERANGING

EFFECT.

>> YEAH.

>> NOT ONLY THE PRESIDENT AND

HIS ADVISERS BUT I THINK THE

COUNTRY WAS ENGAGED IN THAT.

GO TO SLEEP THINKING ONE THING

AND WAKE UP FINDING ANOTHER.

>> REMEMBER THERE IS A BIG

DIFFERENCE, TOO, BETWEEN HIS

CAMPAIGN, JACK, AND JOE BIDEN'S

CAMPAIGN.

JOE BIDEN WAS RUNNING A VIRTUAL

CAMPAIGN.

WE JOKINGLY SAID HE WAS IN THE

BASEMENT.

BUT DONALD TRUMP WAS HOLDING THE

RALLIES.

HE WAS DOING THE DOOR KNOCKING.

HE HAD THAT VOLUNTEER ARMY, THAT

BASE.

HE HAD HIGHER ENTHUSIASM THAT

DAY.

>> LET ME JUMP IN.

BECAUSE CLEARLY AND ONCE AGAIN A

REMINDER WE'RE TALKING WITH SAM

NUNBERG A CAMPAIGN ADVISER FOR

PRESIDENT TRUMP BACK IN 2016.

HE IS A POLITICAL STRATEGIST.

SO LET'S MOVE A FEW DAYS PAST

BECAUSE AS YOU SAID, THERE WAS

THAT WHIP LASH BACK AND FORTH.

THAT IS UNDERSTANDABLE.

NOW WE'RE INTO NINE DAYS PAST.

AND WE'RE SEEING GROWING NUMBERS

AS THE STATES CONTINUE TO TALLY

THE VOTES.

>> YEAH.

>> AGAIN, MY SAME QUESTION TO

YOU THAT I ASKED BEFORE.

WERE YOU SURPRISED OR MAYBE A

BETTER QUESTION WHY DO YOU THINK

THAT THE PRESIDENT HAS CONTINUED

NINE DAYS PAST NOW?

AGAIN, I THINK -- YOU LOOK AT --

LISTEN TO EXPERTS ON BOTH SIDES.

THEY'RE SAYING THIS IS NOT GOING

TO CHANGE.

WHY DO YOU, HAVING WORKED WITH

HIM, SEE HIM CONTINUING TO FIGHT

IN THE FACE OF WHAT SEEMS TO BE

ODDS THAT HE CANNOT OVERCOME?

>> THE PRESIDENT IS GOING TO

WANT TO LITIGATE THIS TO THE END

AND TAKE ANY AVENUE HE CAN TO

GAIN EVEN A SINGLE VOTE.

HE HAS NO QUALMS OF DOING THAT.

IF THIS LEADS TO A STATE BEING

OVERTURNED WHICH I AGREE WITH

YOU I DON'T THINK IS LIKELY IN

LIGHT OF THE AMOUNTS HE'S LOSING

BY, YOU HAVE TO LOOK NORMALLY

VERY QUICKLY, STATES WITH

ELECTIONS OVERTURNED IT'S UNDER

A THOUSAND VOTES EACH TIME.

WE'RE TALKING 10,000, 5,000,

20,000.

HE WILL WANT TO SEE IF HE CAN

GAIN ANYTHING THROUGH THE

LITIGATION PROCESS.

HE IS VERY LITIGIOUS.

SOME PEOPLE THINK THIS IS

SKEPTICAL AND IT ISN'T RIGHT.

HE IS THINKING ABOUT HIS

POLITICAL FUTURE.

HE WANTS THOSE 73 MILLION

PEOPLE.

I'VE BEEN THROUGH THIS ON THE

OTHER SIDE.

I WORKED FOR DONALD TRUMP WHEN

PEOPLE LAUGHED AT ME IN MY

INDUSTRY.

OKAY?

AND I SAW, OF THOSE 73 MILLION,

JACK, 68 MILLION -- THE OTHER 15

ARE GOING TO BELIEVE SOMETHING

FISHY HAPPENED.

OKAY?

AND DONALD TRUMP HAS A RALLYING

CALL.

HE IS GOING TO HAVE A POSITION.

REMEMBER HE WAS LOOKING AT A

TEN-POINT DEFEAT AND LOOKING AT

A BOOK DEAL ONLY SEVEN DIGITS.

THIS IS A GUY WHO NOW IS --

STILL CONTROLS THE REPUBLICAN

PARTY.

HE JUST YESTERDAY SAID HE WANTS

RONA McDANIEL TO BE THE GOP,

CONTINUE TO BE THE GOP

CHAIRWOMAN.

HE IS GOING NOWHERE.

HE IS GOING NOWHERE.

>> LET ME ASK YOU.

>> QUICKLY JUST SO YOU KNOW.

SOME PEOPLE ARE TRYING TO TELL

HIM RIGHT NOW DON'T DECLARE YOU

ARE RUNNING FOR RE-ELECTION

BEFORE YOU LEAVE THE WHITE

HOUSE.

>> WHAT WOULD YOU ADVISE HIM?

YOU ARE A POLITICAL STRATEGIST

AND HAVE BEEN A CAMPAIGN

ADVISER.

WHAT WOULD YOU ADVISE HIM TO DO

RIGHT NOW IN TERMS OF THIS

ELECTION AND THEN WHAT WOULD

YOU -- MEANING WOULD YOU SAY TO

HIM, FIND AN OFF RAMP HERE.

FIND A WAY FOR YOU TO WALK AWAY

AND SAY ALL RIGHT.

YOU'RE GOING TO BE THE NEXT

PRESIDENT.

MAYBE YOU DON'T HAVE TO CONCEDE

TECHNICALLY IF YOU DON'T WANT TO

BUT WHAT WOULD YOU ADVISE HIM IN

TERMS OF AN OFF RAMP HERE AND

THEN WHAT WOULD YOU ADVISE HIM

ABOUT WHAT HE SHOULD SAY ABOUT

TODAY ABOUT 2024?

>> MY, PERSONALLY, I THINK THE

PRESIDENT WOULD BE WELL ADVISED

TO LITIGATE PENNSYLVANIA.

SPECIFICALLY PENNSYLVANIA.

THAT HAS LONG-TERM

RAMIFICATIONS.

YOU'RE LOOKING IN 2022 AT THE

GOVERNOR'S RACE, YOU'RE LOOKING

AT AN OPEN SENATE SEAT AS

SENATOR PAT TOOMEY HAS SAID HE

IS RETIRING.

I THINK THE PRESIDENT SHOULD

HOLD MULTIPLE RALLIES AND GET

HIGHLY INVOLVED IN THE GEORGIA

SENATE RUN-OFFS.

REPUBLICANS WILL MOST LIKELY WIN

BOTH OF THOSE SEATS, VERY

LIKELY.

I'VE WORKED THERE.

I KNOW WHAT GEORGIA IS LIKE.

WHAT I THINK HE SHOULD DO IS

ULTIMATELY AFTER PENNSYLVANIA,

AFTER THAT DECISION IS DECIDED,

FORMALLY COOPERATE WITH THE

BIDEN TRANSITION TEAM.

I SEE REPORTS AND I WOULD ASSUME

THAT, LOOK, THE NSC, DEPARTMENT

OF HOMELAND SECURITY, TO START

TALKING TO THEM.

WOULD I EVER HAVE HIM WELCOME

JOE BIDEN INTO THE OVAL OFFICE?

NO.

>> WOULD YOU?

YOU WOULD NOT.

>> NO.

>> ANOTHER QUESTION, WOULD YOU

ADVISE HIM, IN OUR HISTORY THERE

HAVE ONLY BEEN THREE TIMES WHEN

A SITTING PRESIDENT WHO IS

LEAVING OFFICE DID NOT ATTEND

THE INAUGURATION OF HIS

SUCCESSOR.

JOHN ADAMS, JOHN QUINCY ADAMS,

AND ANDREW JOHNSON.

WOULD YOU ADVISE AND IN A MINUTE

WOULD YOU ADVISE PRESIDENT TRUMP

TO ACTUALLY ATTEND THE

INAUGURATION OF JOE BIDEN?

>> NO.

AND I WOULD TELL HIM THAT HE

SHOULD PROBABLY LEAVE A DAY

EARLY AND HE SHOULD LEAVE AND HE

SHOULD TAKE A PICTURE OF THE

LETTER HE LEAVES FOR BIDEN AND

SAY SOMETHING ALONG THE LINES OF

SEE YOU IN 2024.

>> WELL, IT'S INTERESTING.

AND THAT'S WHY I WANTED TO CHAT

WITH YOU TO GET YOUR INSIDE

INFORMATION ABOUT THIS.

SAM, THERE IS GOING TO BE A LOT

GOING ON HERE.

THIS AS WE KNOW IS NOT OVER.

THEN WHAT IS IT GOING TO MEAN IN

THE FUTURE?

DOES PRESIDENT TRUMP BECOME A

MEDIA TITAN CHALLENGING FOX

NEWS?

DOES HE RUN FOR ELECTION AGAIN

IN 2024?

MY HOPE IS WE CAN GET YOU BACK

AND WE CAN CONTINUE THIS.

>> VERY QUICKLY, THERE IS DEATH,

TAXES, AND DONALD TRUMP, AND

NONE ARE GOING ANYWHERE.

>> THAT IS A GOOD WAY TO LOOK AT

IT.

SAM, THANKS SO MUCH.

ALWAYS A PLEASURE TO TALK WITH

YOU.

WE LOOK FORWARD TO TALKING AGAIN

REAL SOON.

YOU BE WELL.

>> IN NOVEMBER THE NATION

CELEBRATES NATIVE AMERICAN

HERITAGE.

IN A GROUNDBREAKING FOUR-PART

MINI SERIES CALLED "NATIVE

AMERICA" PBS RECENTLY PRESENTED

A LOOK AT OUR NATION'S FIRST

INHABITANTS GOING BACK 15,000

YEARS EXPLORING NOT ONLY THEIR

ROOTS AND THEIR CULTURE BUT ALSO

THEIR TRIUMPHS AND THE TRAGEDY

THAT ULTIMATELY LED TO THE TRAIL

OF TEARS.

IT ALSO INCLUDED THEIR CURRENT

ENDEAVORS TO HOLD ON TO AND

REDISCOVER THEIR GLORIOUS PAST.

TONIGHT WE GO EVEN DEEPER INTO

ONE COMMUNITY THAT WAS ONCE

FORCIBLY SEPARATED FROM ITS

IDENTITY BY THE SYSTEMIC

DESTRUCTION OF THEIR NATIVE

LANGUAGE, BY SETTLERS AND

MISSIONARIES.

THE MOHAWK ARE ONE OF THE FIRST

NATIONS TO INHABIT WHAT WE NOW

CALL NEW YORK.

AND THEY'RE RECLAIMING THEIR

CULTURE THROUGH THE POWER OF

THEIR NATIVE TONGUE.

JENNA FLANAGAN HAS THE STORY.

[ SPEAKING IN NATIVE LANGUAGE ]

>> Reporter: IT'S DEFINED AS A

METHOD OF COMMUNICATION USED BY

A COMMUNITY OR COUNTRY.

SOMETIMES WRITTEN BUT ALMOST

ALWAYS SPOKEN THE COMMONALITY

BONDS INDIVIDUALS WITHIN A GROUP

AND INFORMS ITS OVERALL CULTURE.

AS OF TODAY, THERE ARE ROUGHLY

6,500 LANGUAGES SPOKEN WORLDWIDE

WITH NEARLY 30% HAVING FEWER

THAN A THOUSAND NATIVE SPEAKERS,

PUTTING THEM IN VERY REAL DANGER

OF GOING EXTINCT.

SO HOW DOES A COMMUNITY ENSURE

THAT THEIR LANGUAGE LIVES ON IN

FUTURE GENERATIONS?

YOU START WITH THE CHILDREN.

>> THE LANGUAGE GIVES US OUR

IDENTITY.

IT TEACHES US THE CULTURE.

IT TEACHES US HOW TO BE.

IT TEACHES US HOW TO BE

GRATEFUL.

AND WITHOUT THAT, WHO ARE WE?

>> Reporter: THAT'S AN ELDER

MEMBER OF THE MOHAWK NATION

WHICH LIES AT THE NORTHERN

BORDER OF NEW YORK STATE.

THE MOHAWK ARE WORKING HARD TO

NOT ONLY MAINTAIN THEIR LANGUAGE

BUT ENSURE IT HAS A FUTURE WITH

ITS LANGUAGE IMMERSION SCHOOL.

>> IT IS A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT

LEARNING EXPERIENCE.

I MEAN, OVER TIME WE HAD TO

EVOLVE.

>> Reporter: THE AQUA SUN

FREEDOM SCHOOL WAS FOUNDED IN

1979 AFTER DECADES OF MOHAWK

CHILDREN BEING FORCIBLY REMOVED

FROM THEIR FAMILIES AND NATIVE

LANDS TO ATTEND BOARDING SCHOOLS

RUN BY PRIESTS WHERE ENGLISH WAS

MANDATORY AND THE MOHAWK

LANGUAGE FORBIDDEN.

EFFECTIVELY PUTTING UP A BARRIER

BETWEEN THE PEOPLE AND THEIR

CULTURE.

FREEDOM SCHOOL LEVEL 4 TEACHER

AS HE IS KNOWN BY HIS ENGLISH

NAME LEVI HERN EXPLAINS THE

LONG-TERM CULTURAL EFFECT.

>> MOST OF THE FAMILIES IN THIS

COMMUNITY AREN'T TRADITIONAL

BECAUSE OF WHAT HAPPENED WITH

BOARDING SCHOOLS AND DIFFERENT

TYPES OF ASSIMILATION WITH THE

JESUITS EVEN IN THE 1600s,

1700s.

>> ELVIRA SAYS SHE REMEMBERS HER

FAMILY MEMBERS SUFFERING WITH

THE SEPARATION.

>> MY SISTER WENT TO A

RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL WITH MY UNCLE

AND THEY WOULD BE THERE ALL

YEAR, COME HOME ONCE A YEAR.

BUT WHAT I KNOW WITH THAT IS

THAT THEY WERE NOT ALLOWED TO

SPEAK THE LANGUAGE.

THEY WERE PUNISHED.

MY SISTER DOESN'T KNOW THE

CULTURE AT ALL.

SHE STILL KNOWS THE LANGUAGE.

SHE GETS STUCK.

SO IT HAS HAD A LASTING IMPACT.

LIKE MAYBE PEOPLE MY AGE AND

MAYBE A LITTLE OLDER, WE DIDN'T

HAVE THAT NURTURING FROM OUR

PARENTS BECAUSE THEY DIDN'T KNOW

HOW TO NURTURE US.

OR SHOW US LOVE.

WE KNEW THEY LOVED US BUT OH,

GOD -- BUT IT WAS HARD FOR THEM

TO SHOW US.

>> THE BOARDING SCHOOL

SEPARATIONS LEFT A LASTING

IMPACT ON THE FAMILY.

HOWEVER, ELVIRA WAS TOO YOUNG TO

BE TAKEN TO BOARDING SCHOOL SO

SHE LEARNED TO SPEAK MOHAWK AT

HOME.

>> THAT'S ALL I HEARD GROWING UP

BUT THEN EVENTUALLY EVEN THAT

PART GOT LOST.

>> Reporter: AND IT IS THAT SAME

NATURAL WAY THAT GUIDES THE

FREEDOM SCHOOL.

>> WE ACTUALLY START AT THE AGE

OF 1 WHERE THEY CAN GO INTO OUR

LANGUAGE BECAUSE A LONG TIME AGO

THIS WAS THEIR FIRST LANGUAGE,

NOT ALL PARENTS CAN SPEAK THE

LANGUAGE SO THEY'RE NOT HEARING

IT UNTIL THEY ENTER SCHOOL.

>> Reporter: THE FOCUS IS ON

DEVELOPING CONVERSATIONAL SKILLS

OVER COMPULSORY.

>> I THINK THEY SHOULD REALLY

TRY TO LEARN WITH ANOTHER

SPEAKER WITH AN ELDER.

I'M AFRAID WITH IT BEING IN A

CLASSROOM ALL THE TIME THAT IT'S

GOING TO BECOME A CLASSROOM

LANGUAGE AND I DON'T WANT TO SEE

THAT HAPPEN.

>> Reporter: IT'S JUST BEFORE

8:00 A.M. AT THE FREEDOM SCHOOL

AND THE KIDS ARE ALREADY GETTING

DROPPED OFF FOR THE DAY.

THE SCHOOL ENCOMPASSES A SMALL

CAMPUS OF THREE BUILDINGS BUT

IT'S NOT STRUCTURED LIKE AN

AMERICAN PUBLIC SCHOOL.

THE KIDS AREN'T REGULATED BY

GRADE BUT RATHER THEIR MOHAWK

LANGUAGE ABILITY LEVEL.

SO A CHILD AT LEVEL 2 ISN'T

NECESSARILY A SECOND GRADER BUT,

RATHER, A KID WHOSE

CONVERSATIONAL SKILLS ARE STILL

DEVELOPING.

THAT CHILD CAN BE ANY AGE.

>> MY NAME IS -- CAN YOU SAY IT?

[ SPEAKING NATIVE LANGUAGE ]

>> Reporter: CLEARLY I AM A N

NEWCOMER TO THE LANGUAGE.

SHE IS NOT ONLY PROFICIENT BUT

THE TEACHER AND BREAKS IT DOWN

IN A WAY MY ENGLISH ONLY BRAIN

CAN PROCESS IT.

>> K-H --

>> Reporter: MM-HMM.

>> SA-NA-GO-HE.

HER.

AND THIS COMES FROM THE WORD

WHICH MEANS A NAME AND A

JOURNEY.

SHE WHO RETRIEVES NAMES.

>> Reporter: THAT IS SO AMAZING

THAT THAT IS YOUR NAME GIVEN

WHAT YOU TEACH.

THAT'S ONE OF THE TENETS OF THE

MOHAWK WAY OR CULTURE.

EVERY INDIVIDUAL HAS THEIR OWN

NAME, JUST ONE, THAT IS UNIQUE

TO THEMSELVES.

CLAN MOTHERS OF THE LONG HOUSE

ARE IN CHARGE OF PICKING NAMES

AND THERE ARE NO REPEATS,

JUNIORS, OR SENIORS.

AS SHE CONTINUES EXPLAINING THE

PHONE ETICES TO ME SHE SHARES

HOW MODERN DAY SPEAKERS MAKE THE

ANCIENT LANGUAGE WORK IN PRESENT

DAY.

>> SO OUR LANGUAGE IS

DESCRIPTIVE.

SO THE WAY WE HAVE ADAPTED TO

ALL THESE NEW WORDS IS JUST TO

DESCRIBE WHAT IS GOING ON.

SO, LIKE, IF YOU WERE A CAMERA

PERSON WE'D SAY, OH, HE'S A

FILMER.

>> Reporter: HOW WOULD YOU THEN

DESCRIBE WHAT A JOURNALIST DOES?

LIKE IF I WERE TO DESCRIBE

MYSELF IN THE MOHAWK LANGUAGE

HOW WOULD, WHAT -- HOW WOULD I

CALL MYSELF?

>> I'M TRYING TO THINK.

MAYBE --

[ SPEAKING NATIVE LANGUAGE ]

SHE TELLS STORIES.

>> Reporter: OH, I LOVE THAT.

>> YEAH.

>> Reporter: WAIT HOW DO I SPELL

THAT?

>> I CAN SPELL THAT FOR YOU ON

THE BOARD.

>> Reporter: PLEASE DO.

>> THIS IS PRONOUN FOR HER.

AND THIS IS THE TELLING OF AND

THIS IS HABITUAL.

SO SHE IS A TELLER -- SHE IS A

STORY TELLER.

>> Reporter: I ABSOLUTELY LOVE

THAT.

WORKING WITH LONG HOUSE

TRADITIONS THE FREEDOM SCHOOL

HAS ITS OWN SET OF STANDARDS AND

REQUIREMENTS FOR TEACHERS.

THEY AREN'T LOOKING FOR

TRADITIONAL AMERICAN

CERTIFICATES OR DEGREES BUT

RATHER A MEMBERSHIP WITHIN THE

NATION, FLUENCY IN THE MOHAWK

CULTURE, AND LANGUAGE, AND ABOVE

ALL A PASSION FOR IMPARTING

THOSE TRADITIONS ON TO THE NEXT

GENERATION.

THROUGHOUT THE SCHOOL THE KIDS

ARE ENCOURAGED TO HELP ONE

ANOTHER IN THEIR LANGUAGE

DEVELOPMENT AND IN SOME

CLASSROOMS ABSOLUTELY NO ENGLISH

IS SPOKEN AT ALL.

SO TO FURTHER MY MEAGER MOHAWK

LANGUAGE SKILLS, I TURN TO SOME

OF THE SCHOOL'S MOST

ENTHUSIASTIC TEACHERS, THE 7 AND

8-YEAR-OLDS AT LEVEL 2.

>> Reporter: WHAT DOES THAT

MEAN?

>> HI!

>> Reporter: SAGO?

IS THAT HOW YOU SAY IT?

>> OHNA.

>> Reporter: WHAT DOES OHNA

MEAN?

WHEN I LEAVE TODAY I'M GOING TO

SAY OHNA TO ALL OF YOU GUYS.

AS SHE IS KNOWN BY HER ENGLISH

NAME, TARA SKITTERS IS THE

SCHOOL OFFICE MANAGER AND

HANDLES ADMISSIONS, BUDGETING,

HIRING, AND ENSURING THE SCHOOL

MEETS ITS OVERALL MISSION.

PART OF THAT IS CREATING A

FAMILIAL ATMOSPHERE FOR THE

KIDS.

>> SO IT IS A VERY SMALL

PERCENTAGE OF PEOPLE THAT COME

HERE.

THE FAMILIES THAT WANT THEIR

KIDS HERE, A LOT OF THEM ARE

TRADITIONAL, YOU KNOW, WHO

FOLLOW THE LONG HOUSE AND LONG

HOUSE TRADITIONS I THINK ARE

OVERALL VALUES ARE MORE THE

CONCENTRATION -- RESPECT AND

TAKING CARE OF THE EARTH AND

BEING KIND TO ONE ANOTHER.

>> Reporter: 42 FAMILIES

COMPRISING OF 71 KIDS CURRENTLY

ATTEND THE FREEDOM SCHOOL AND TO

HELP IMMERSE THEM INTO THE

CULTURE OF THE LONG HOUSE

TRADITIONS, EACH DAY STARTS WITH

A COMMUNITY SOCIAL.

TEACHERS AND STUDENTS GATHER IN

ONE OF THE LARGER CLASSROOMS AND

BEGIN WITH --

[ SPEAKING IN NATIVE LANGUAGE ]

WHICH LOOSELY TRANSLATED MEANS

THE BUSINESS BEFORE ALL ELSE.

THANKS IS GIVEN TO THE CREATOR

FOR EVERYTHING.

IT'S AN IMPORTANT PART OF THE

LONG HOUSE TRADITION, WHICH

FOCUSES ON BEING GRATEFUL FOR

THE GIFTS THE EARTH GIVES AND

HOW THEY AID PEOPLE IN LIFE.

THEY PARTICIPATE IN SEVERAL

MORNING SONGS OR STOMPS.

SONGS ABOUT HUNTING OR GATHERING

ARE PERFORMED IN CEREMONIAL WAY.

THESE ARE OPEN EVENTS THAT

ANYONE CAN ATTEND, BUT FOR THE

MOHAWK, SACRED CEREMONIES ARE

CLOSED TO NONNATION MEMBERS EVEN

THOUGH THE FREEDOM SCHOOL HAS

LESS THAN A HUNDRED KIDS

ENROLLED, THE COMMUNITY IS

16,000 STRONG AND THE

RESERVATION OVERLAPS THE

U.S./CANADIAN BORDER, SO KIDS

WHO LIVE ON THE NEW YORK SIDE

ALSO HAVE FRIENDS AND FAMILY IN

THE ONTARIO AND QUEBEC

PROVINCES.

THE FREEDOM SCHOOL HAS STUDENTS

FROM BOTH SIDES OF THE BORDER.

BUT ACCORDING TO LEVEL 4

TEACHER, THAT'S OUR BORDER NOT

THEIRS.

>> WHEN THEY'RE HERE THEY TALK

ABOUT BEING ON THE AMERICAN OR

CANADIAN SIDE BECAUSE WE,

OURSELVES, DON'T FEEL AS WE'RE

PART OF THE AMERICAN OR CANADIAN

GOVERNMENT.

WE FEEL THAT WE'RE A SOVEREIGN

NATION.

>> Reporter: HE SAYS ONE OF THE

BIGGEST WORRIES PARENTS HAVE IS

ALL THIS MOHAWK IMMERSION WILL

LIMIT THEIR CHILD'S ABILITY TO

LEARN ENGLISH AND BE PART OF ONE

OF THE LOCAL HIGH SCHOOLS.

>> THE REALITY IS ENGLISH IS

EVERYWHERE.

THEY'RE GOING TO LEARN IT.

I TELL PARENTS ALL THE TIME.

DON'T STRESS ABOUT IT.

IF YOUR CHILD IS READY TO LEARN

ENGLISH TEACH THEM AT HOME.

DON'T WORRY ABOUT IT.

THEY'LL GET IT.

ONCE THEY LEAVE HERE WHERE ARE

THEY GOING TO LEARN THE MOHAWK

LANGUAGE?

>> Reporter: HOWEVER ONCE THE

FREEDOM KIDS START ATTENDING

PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOLS, IT IS A BIT

OF A CULTURE SHOCK.

>> WE HEAR BACK FROM THE

STUDENTS.

OH, MY GOD I CAN'T BELIEVE THE

WAY THEY TALK TO THEIR TEACHERS.

OR OUR STUDENTS, THEY FIND THEM

QUIET BUT IT'S BECAUSE THEY'RE

RESPECTFUL.

>> Reporter: AND TARA AGREES.

SHE SAYS IT IS NOT UNCOMMON FOR

HER TO GET CALLS FROM FORMER

STUDENTS ON BREAK ASKING IF THEY

CAN COME BACK AND HELP OUT FOR

THE WEEK.

BUT TO TRULY EXPAND THE SCHOOL'S

CAPACITY, TARA SAYS THEY'RE

HOPING TO BUILD A NEW STRUCTURE

THAT CAN HOUSE EVERYBODY.

>> HAVING A NEW BUILDING WOULD

REALLY HELP US ALL TO BE IN ONE

BUILDING SO THERE IS NO --

NOBODY SEGREGATED FROM ANYBODY

ELSE.

IT'S GOOD FOR THOSE YOUNGER KIDS

TO SEE THE OLDER KIDS USING THE

LANGUAGE.

THE OLDER KID DOING THINGS.

BECAUSE THAT GIVES THEM ROLE

MODELS.

>> Reporter: TO PAY FOR ALL OF

THIS THE FREEDOM SCHOOL CHARGES

A UNIQUE TUITION.

EITHER $500 PER STUDENT OR A

DONATED QUILT.

TARA SAYS EACH ONE CAN BRING IN

A FEW THOUSAND DOLLARS

GENERATING ENOUGH TO FUND THE

CURRENT SCHOOL.

FAMILIES CONTRIBUTE HAND MADE

QUILTS BASED ON THE NUMBER OF

CHILDREN THEY HAVE ENROLLED AND

SOME QUILTS ARE EVEN DONATED BY

PROFESSIONALS.

>> THIS IS A QUILT DONE BY THE

PEACEMAKERS OF NEW YORK.

THEY ARE ALWAYS VERY UNIQUE AND

PEOPLE COME HERE JUST TO BID ON

THESE.

BECAUSE THEY'VE BEEN DOING THIS

FOR I WANT TO SAY 20 SOMETHING

YEARS NOW.

>> Reporter: IN ALL, TARA SAYS

THE MISSION OF THE FREEDOM

SCHOOL IS TO ENSURE THE SURVIVAL

OF THE MOHAWK CULTURE AND

LANGUAGE.

>> YOU KNOW, I WANT PEOPLE TO

KNOW THAT WE'RE NOT EXTINCT.

YOU KNOW, PEOPLE THINK THAT AN

INDIAN IS A CERTAIN WAY OR WE'RE

ALL THE SAME AND WE'RE NOT.

THERE ARE SO MANY DIFFERENT

NATIONS, DIFFERENT CLOTHES,

DIFFERENT CULTURES, DIFFERENT

SONGS.

EVERYTHING IS DIFFERENT.

YOU KNOW, WE HAVE TO WORK REALLY

HARD TO MAINTAIN THOSE THINGS.

THERE ARE SO LITTLE OF US, YOU

KNOW, LIKE COMPARED TO OTHER

POPULATIONS.

BUT WE'RE HERE.

WE'RE DOING IT.

WE'RE GOING TO KEEP DOING IT.

NOT GOING NOWHERE.

WE HAVE KIDS WHO ARE LEARNING

ALL THIS STUFF AND THEY'RE GOING

TO CARRY IT ON.

AND WE'RE JUST DOING OUR THING.

>> BIG HUG BEFORE I GO!

EVERYBODY!

>> Reporter: FOR METROFOCUS, I'M

JENNA FLANAGAN.

>> "METROFOCUS" IS MADE POSSIBLE

BY

SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III,

SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA

PROGRAMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT

ANTI-SEMITISM.

BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG,

JANET PRINDLE SEIDLER,

JODY AND JOHN ARNHOLD,

CHERYL AND PHILIP MILSTEIN

FAMILY,

BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ,

JUDY AND JOSH WESTON,

DR. ROBERT C. AND TINA SOHN

FOUNDATION.