Kanentokon was born in Kanatahseton, on the Frontier, raised in the Kanienkehaka tribe, better known as the Mohawk. Kanentokon's village was burnt in 1761 by the British Army during the American Revolutionary War, and Kanentokon and his friend Ratonhnhaketon had a deep hatred for the British as a result. In 1773, when he grew into a young man, he warned Ratonhnhake:ton, now known by his adoptive name "Connor", about William Johnson's plan to purchase the Mohawk Land for the Thirteen Colonies, resulting in Johnson's assassination at John's Town.
In 1778, during the Revolutionary War, the Continental Army of the United States planned the Sullivan Expedition against the Iroquois Confederacy because of their alliance with the British, and he led resistance from the village with a war party. The Iroquois tribesman Ratonhnhaketon attempted to stop him, and he knocked out five Mohawks scouts, before encountering Kanentokon.