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The Woodland Cultural Centre is pleased to present “Ęgaenagadat: – They Raise their Voices to the Creator” featuring three phenomenal Indigenous women. The evening will feature live music from artists Cheri Maracle, Genevieve Fisher, and IsKwé who will take the stage and perform at the annual Coffee House event.

This is a pay-what-you-can event.  Bring a friend and a guitar, doors open at 6:45PM, show starts at 7!

To Register for Open Mic:
Please contact the Fine Arts department at Woodland Cultural Centre at 519-759-2650 ext 243 or email for more information. Sign ups will also be in the front lobby prior to the performances. Spots are limited!

CHERI MARACLE (Mohawk/Irish)

Cheri Maracle is a multi-award nominated actress and singer/songwriter of the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. Cheri has a theatre-trained background and has performed professionally for the past 20 years across Canada, the United States, and Europe. Selected Theatre credits include: The Road to Paradise (Crow’s Theatre), The Road Forward, (Red Diva Projects)The Rez Sisters, (Belfry Theatre) Death of a Chief (The National Arts Centre, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre). Recently Cheri was nominated for Best Solo Performance at the Calgary Theatre Critics’ Awards 2016, for her one woman show, Paddle Song. Cheri was nominated for the prestigious K.M. Hunter Theatre award 2007, and 2014 for her body of theatrical work, and from 2006-2008 was an artistic associate of the Dora award winning Aboriginal women’s theatre company, Turtle Gals. Cheri is also a CAMA, ISMA, APCMA nominated recording artist. Her critically acclaimed music can be found on iTunes, and at her website. Nia:Wen! Upcoming, Cheri is co-hosting this year’s Indspire awards!!!

For more information about Cheri, please visit:

GENEVIEVE FISHER (Ojibway/Italian)

Born and raised in London Ontario, Genevieve comes from a rich heritage of Aboriginal and Italian descent. Her father is from Chippewas of the Thames First Nation in Muncey, Ontario and her mother is from Calabria, Italy. With 5 top 50 hit songs already to her credit, Genevieve Fisher continues to expand her influence on the Canadian Country Music scene. Her performance at the 2012 CCMA New Artist Showcase in Saskatoon set the stage for Genevieve’s steady rise as one  of Canada’s new breed of Female Country Artists. This was followed by Female Artist of the Year nominations at the 2013, 2015 and 2016 Country Music of Ontario Music Awards. Genevieve has earned her way onto the stages of some of the country’s most exciting live events including Boots and Hearts and Manitoulin Country Fest. Early last summer Genevieve was honoured to perform at the nationally televised Aboriginal Day Live 2016 concert in Winnipeg Manitoba.  When not performing live shows, Genevieve finds herself collaborating with some of the brightest songwriters on both sides of the border. She has already shared writing credits with Jason Blaine, Steven Lee Olsen, Patricia Conroy, Jason Massey, Jennifer Schott and many more.

For more information about Genevieve, please visit:

ISKWÉ (Cree/Dené/Irish) 

Named one of the ‘Top 10 Artists to Watch in 2016’ by CBC Music, IsKwé (which means ‘woman’ in her native language) is fostering an unmistakable sound that weaves together her Irish and Cree/Dené roots with poignant politically charged lyrics, dark soulful R&B rhythms, electronic flourishes, and trip hop breakbeats. Bridging cross-cultural aesthetics while exploring her own struggle to both fit into and breakaway from modern Western archetypes has been an important part of IsKwé’s artistic vision since the release of her self-titled debut album in late 2013. Her debut single “Nobody Knows,” which was produced by Juno Award nominees The Darcys and is currently being featured in the Netflix series Between, captivated audiences by turning a stark spotlight on the more than 1200 missing and murdered Indigenous women here in Canada. The song, which perfectly paired IsKwé’s signature downtempo tones with harsh reality, revealed an artist whose true beauty and undeniable appeal lies in her ability to find strength in the weight of her emotions. Unafraid to challenge the convictions of her detractors by honouring her heritage, standing steadfast in her viewpoints, and embracing her sexuality, IsKwé’s artistry knows no bounds. Blending soulful, breathlessly delivered lyrics that are coloured by the many shades of human nature with a sonic palette that takes its queue from the shadowy atmospherics of the 1990s Bristol sound, IsKwé’s music revels in her strength of self and that is her true rallying cry.

For more information about IsKwé, please visit:

Coffee House is presented as part of Woodland’s Tehonkieron:nions (They are Entertaining) performing arts series through the generous support of Canadian Heritage.
Nia:wen / Thank You!

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Woodland is pleased to present an exciting line up of Winter Events! This season Brantford, Ontario will be bursting with several activities to chase those winter blues away. With a wide selection of events, there is sure to be something every family, student, or senior will enjoy during their visit. All events are open to the general public.

The line-up of events include:

What’s Left of Us performances February 11 at 8PM & 12 at 3PM. A very powerful autobiographical work that is co-created and performed by Justin Many Fingers (Southern Alberta), and Brian Solomon (Northern Ontario). Join us for this exclusive performance that features a solo performance and Artist Talk. Tickets available in advance online or at the door.

WCC will host Theresa McCarthy’s Book Launch February 24 at 7PM. Her book ‘In Divided Unity’ Haudenosaunee Reclamation at Grand River discusses the land issues and the “initiatives that promote Haudenosaunee traditionalism and languages” surrounding Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. Books will be available for purchase at the event.

Upcoming exhibition UnReZerved will open February 25 at 12PM. Curated by A/Artistic Director of WCC, Kevin Lamure, this show will explore the different artists from the Woodland Collection in relation to treaty areas in Canada. Don’t miss this exciting exhibition happening February 25 – May 2 in the galleries at WCC.

Part Two of Ancestors in the Archives Presents The Mohawk Institute. This semi-annual presentation is scheduled for February 26 at 2PM and will showcase the two large collections of photos donated to the Centre in recent years.

Ęgaenagadat: (They Raise their Voices to the Creator) Saturday, March 4 at 7PM. Join us for Woodland’s annual Coffee House and Open Mic Night. This evening will feature phenomenal music from Indigenous artists Cheri Maracle, Genevieve Fisher, and Iskwe! Bring a friend and a guitar. Doors open at 6:45PM. This is a FREE event.

Voices Yet to Come, a storytelling project, led by Playwright/Performer/Storyteller Falen Johnson and Visual Artist/Storyteller Elizabeth Doxtator, will explore various formats of storytelling with four youth members from the original Group of Six in Grand River. Workshops will take place every Wednesday and culminate in a live showcase on March 25, 7PM.

The Colonization Road documentary will screen April 19 at 7PM. This film takes you to Fort Frances, the hometown of Ryan McMahon (Anishinaabe), where disturbingly daily reminders of the colonization and displacement of the Indigenous people exist. Stop in for the film screening and Artist Talk with Michelle St. John. This is a FREE event.

Lastly, First Nations Art (FNA) will return May 26 – July 28. One of the longest running annual exhibits that provide established and emerging First Nations artists the opportunity to showcase and sell their work in a gallery setting. If you’re interested in submitting works, be sure to fill out the forms on our website!

While visiting the Centre be sure to check out the new exhibition: Walking Together, which brought together students and former students of the Mohawk Institute, and features the artwork of eleven talented First Nations students grades 10-12 from Pauline Johnson Collegiate and Vocational School in Brantford. “Walking Together” will exhibit February 4 – May 2.

For more info call 519-759-2650 or check back often for more updates!

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February 26, 2017 | 2 – 4 PM

Part Two of Ancestors in the Archives Presents The Mohawk Institute. This semi-annual presentation is scheduled for February 2017 and will showcase the two large collections of photos donated to the Centre in recent years.  These photos present life at the Mohawk Institute in the 1950s through to its closure.

Any Residential School Survivors, or other members of the public willing to share their own photos with us can come earlier (1-2pm) to have their pictures digitized and shared during the session. Hope to see you there!

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February 11 & 12, 2017

Co-Created by Justin Many Fingers and Brian Solomon
Performed by Justin Many Fingers and Brian Solomon

Two 2 spirited ndn’s, with only two hands between them. A gloriously deranged world of dance, storytelling, and the unexpected things that make you sexy.

Tickets:  $15.00
Tickets can be purchased in advance online or in person at the Woodland Cultural Centre reception desk. Tickets also available at the door.

Dates:   February 11, 2017 at 8PM
February 12, 2017 at 3PM

*Run time is 25 minutes

What’s Left of Us is a very powerful autobiographical work that is co-created and performed by Justin Many Fingers from the Lavern Kainai Blackfoot reserve (Southern Alberta), and Brian Solomon from Killarney-Shebanoning (Northern Ontario). Collaborating together on this personal movement performance, Justin Many Fingers describes the creation process as “amazing” in the measures they went through physically and emotionally.

Exclusive 10 minute solo performance by each artist before the show and Artist Talk to follow the event.

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February 24, 2017 | 7 – 9 PM

‘In Divided Unity’
Haudenosaunee Reclamation at Grand River

In February 2006, the Six Nations occupation of a 132-acre construction site in Caledonia, Ontario, reignited a 200-year-long struggle to reclaim land and rights in the Grand River region. Framed by this ongoing reclamation, In Divided Unity explores community-based initiatives that promote Haudenosaunee traditionalism and languages at Six Nations of the Grand River as crucial enactments of sovereignty both historically and in the present.

For more information about Theresa’s book, check out the catalog information from the University of Arizona Press.

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Here are just a few of the new books that are now in the Woodland Cultural Centre Resource Library! For more information about the library including hours, please click here.

Woods, Eric Taylor. A Cultural Sociology of Anglican Mission and the Indian Residential Schools in Canada, (2016). This book is an extensive history of the Anglican Church’s involvement in the Indian residential school system in Canada. However, the purpose of the book seems to be that “allowances should also be made for the representation of the voices of the defenders of the residential schools; those former staff members and retired priests who feel they are now being unfairly represented as the perpetrators of evil. …the inclusion of their voices might better help the process of healing and reconciliation. … The purpose of including those meanings would not have been to merely ensure that ‘two sides’ are being heard in an effort to get an ostensibly full account of the truth, but to enable healing and reconciliation.” Terms like “cultural trauma of the perpetrators” come into play, as well as the meaning of the apologies.

Hill, W. Barry. St. Paul’s H.M. Royal Chapel of the Mohawk erected 1785: the Chapel’s Place in Six Nations History 1710-2016, (2016).  The history of the Mohawk Chapel is closely tied in with the origins and financing of the Mohawk Institute .  This book gives insight into the history of the Six Nations through the stained glass windows and chronology provided.

Metcalfe-Chenail, Danielle (editor). In This Together: Fifteen Stories of Truth and Reconciliation, (2016). Included in the book is a conversation between the Honourable Justice Murray Sinclair and CBC Host and honorary TRC witness Shelagh Rogers. Murray Sinclair tells the story “When Confederation occurred, the original peoples of this country didn’t oppose it, didn’t fight against it. They were prepared to work with it… They had friendships that were formed, partnerships that were created – economic, military, and otherwise – that allowed them to believe that they could move forward with Canada into the future… Yet Canada chose to betray that loyalty, that partnership, that relationship, by trying through legislation (it was basically war through law) to subjugate them, to assimilate them, to wipe them out as a distinct people… People coming to this country now think that before 1867 there was nothing, but in reality there was this rich, vibrant economy, political system, military system in those years and going back to the beginning of time.”

Lux, Maureen K. Separate Beds: A History of Indian Hospitals in Canada, 1920s-1980s, (2016). “Separate Beds is the shocking story of Canada’s system of segregated health care… rife with coercion and medical experimentation. Established to keep the Aboriginal tuberculosis population isolated, they became a means of ensuring that other Canadians need not share access to modern hospitals with Aboriginal patients.” “At the Lady Willingdon Hospital on the Six Nations reserve unlicensed physicians created dangerous situations for patients… The long-serving superintendent, Dr. Walter Davis.. stayed thirty-five years until his retirement in 1950… the doctor often advised patients to combine Indigenous and Western medicine… The stability of Davis’s tenure ended abruptly as no less than twenty-nine different physicians served the reserve in the next sixteen years.”

Burich, Keith R. The Thomas Indian School and the “Irredeemable” Children of New York, (2016). “The purpose (of Indian boarding schools) was to produce a self-perpetuating subjugation by dividing Indians against themselves, cultivating among them a hatred of themselves as Indians and coercing them to reject their Native identity, culture and heritage. Nowhere were these insidious and malignant effects more visible than at the Thomas Indian School on the Cattaraugus Seneca Reservation in western New York… federal boarding schools were founded on the principles and methods that had been hammered out at missionary schools over the course of more than two centuries… for its first fifty years (the Thomas Indian School) was an orphanage in both name and mission. (The Thomas Asylum for Orphan and Destitute Indian Children)” “Burich’s book fills a glaring gap in the fields of Indian education and Haudenosaunee history. –Holly Rine, associate professor of history, Le Moyne College.” In Canada orphaned and destitute Indian children were all sent to residential schools until the Sixties Scoop when they were adopted out, primarily to non-Native homes.

Stonechild, Blair. The Knowledge Seeker: Embracing Indigenous Spirituality, (2016). Blair Stonechild shares his journey through the educational system – from attending residential school to earning a PhD to being a founder of the First Nations University of Canada… He delves into the philosophy of his people’s teachings and laws, describes the significance of ceremonies, and comes to better understand the proper relationship with all created beings.

Arts of Engagement: Taking Aesthetic Action in and Beyond the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, (2016). This book focuses on the role that music, film, visual art, and Indigenous cultural practices play in and beyond Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission on Residential Schools. (Book Jacket) Paquette, Jerald E. First Nations education policy in Canada progress or gridlock? (2010) This book clearly articulates an alternative to the current system of First Nations education, which is riddled with problems.

Robbertson, Robbie. Testimony: A Memoir, (2016). Robbie Robertson employs his unique storyteller’s voice to weave together the journey that led him to some of the most pivotal events in music history.

McCarthy, Theresa. In Divided Unity: Haudenosaunee reclamation at Grand River, (2016). Theresa McCarthy critiques settler colonial narratives of Haudenosaunee decline used to rationalize land theft and political subjugation. In particular, McCarthy illustrates that current efforts to discredit the reclamation continue to draw on the flawed characterizations of Haudenosaunee tradition, factionalism, and “failed” self-government popularized by conventional scholarship about the Iroquois. Countering these narratives of decline and failure, McCarthy argues that the 2006 reclamation ushered in an era of profound intellectual and political resurgence at Six Nations, propelled by the contributions of Haudenosaunee women.

Jamieson, Keith. Dr. Oronhyatekha: Security, Justice, and Equality, (2016). Dr. Oronhyatekha (“Burning Sky”), born in the Mohawk nation on the Six Nations of the Grand River territory in 1841, led an extraordinary life, rising to prominence in medicine, sports, politics, fraternalism, and business. He was one of the first Indigenous physicians in Canada, the first to attend Oxford University, a Grand River representative to the Prince of Wales during the 1860 royal tour, a Wimbledon rifle champion, the chairman of the Grand General Indian Council of Ontario, and Grand Templar of the International Order of Good Templars.

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Posted 12/09/17

The WCC Library has brought its technology forward with the introduction of security gates, a microfilm reader/digitizer, an E-Scan scanner, networked computers and a server thanks to a generous grant from the Six Nations Community Development Trust Fund.

The WCC library has been collecting material since 1972.  Much of the material is out of print and rare.  Having a security system is a must when planning to increase awareness and usage of the library’s resources.

The E-Scan scanner allows you to copy material on a USB memory stick.  No need to bring your own laptop and portable scanner to scan materials digitally.  This is an environmentally friendly alternative to photocopying which relies on paper printouts.  The cradle style platform allows you to copy from thick books without damaging the book.  The program allows for OCR scanning, colour or black and white, and will also copy 3D objects.

The E-Scan will be used to digitize archival material in the collection and make it accessible to library users without damaging the original materials.  No need to go hunting through hundreds of boxes and files, the material will be accessible on the local network.

With over 350 microfilms in the WCC collection as well as a large collection of microfiche, a Microfilm reader/digitizer was badly needed.  The only really secure technology for preserving records is still microfilm.  Microfilm will last 500 years whereas computer technology changes constantly.  Digital images are not permanent and the technology is constantly changing.  Storage is an issue as literature expands each year.  However microfilm can also be digitized for easier access.

With the new Canon 800II scanner you can view microfilm and microfiche directly, view it on your computer, switch from negative images to positive, and copy it to a USB memory stick or print out a hard copy.  What could be easier.

Introducing these three new items required updating the existing computers and introducing more sophisticated software and backup systems.  Unexpected expenses included modifying the electrical system and we will be adding barriers for the security gates.

The library collections are available online at    With more and more material available online only, it is important to copy and store it before it disappears.  Many of our CDs will soon be available on our network as well.

We look forward to students and researchers visiting our library for resources on current topics like the War of 1812 and Residential Schools.  See you soon.

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The Woodland Cultural Centre, in conjunction with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, is elated and honoured to announce the arrival and exhibition of the 200 year old wool cloth British flag believed to be given to Tecumseh during the War of 1812. This artifact will be featured in the upcoming exhibition entitled War Clubs & Wampum Belts: Haudenosaunee Experiences of the War of 1812, and will run from October 29 – December 24, 2012, with an opening reception taking place October 29 at 7:00pm.

Tecumseh, of Shawnee decent, was a distinguished warrior and orator who founded an alliance with Sir General Isaac Brock. Initially, Tecumseh fought to protect First Nations’ territory, and with the assistance of his respected friend and British ally Brock, Tecumseh led a war against the Americans on the Detroit frontier. With their ability to mobilize a large band of Native nations to fight against the Americans, they quickly became a feared enemy. Shortly after the siege of Detroit, Brock bestowed Tecumseh with the title of Brigadier General and bestowed him with a wool British flag. Due to the fragile state of the flag, this will be the first exhibition of this important cultural and historical artifact. Through a partnership with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, the flag will be on loan through the duration of the exhibit.

Curated by Rick Hill, a Tuscarora of the Six Nations of the Grand River, this exhibit seeks to draw attention to the relatively unknown and significant contributions Native warriors played in the War of 1812. These contributions caused great strife within the Six Nations Confederacy, and caused the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Council to became separated by the actions of our allies. The war not only brought death, but also caused families to bring up arms against one another, which went against the governing principles of the Great Law of Peace.

The Woodland Cultural Centre will be hosting a special opening for the exhibit, Monday October 29 at 7:00pm. There will be a brief introduction by the Executive Director of the Woodland Cultural Centre, and special introduction by Rick Hill, curator of the exhibit and Coordinator of the Indigenous Knowledge Centre. Woodland is pleased to be able to showcase and utilize his expertise in bringing this exhibit to life. In addition to the exhibit, the Woodland Cultural Centre will be developing and providing educational kits as a teacher resource to incorporate the War of 1812 into their classrooms.


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Posted: 12/08/29

Did you know that the Woodland Cultural Centre is a third-party recommender for the Ontario Arts Council’s Aboriginal Artists Materials and Supplies Assistance Program.  Through this program, Aboriginal artists may apply for $500 grants towards the purchase and delivery of materials and supplies for the creation of their visual art, craft or media art work.  The program guidelines and application form are located at the Ontario Arts Council’s website

Deadline for applications is January 2013

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Posted: 12/08/29

Its hard to believe that Planet IndigenUS is over, several years of planning and it was done in a matter of days.  The wealth of talent from all across Turtle Island and beyond was amazing.  It’s near impossible to highlight every event we did this year, but there are a few key moments that were extraordinarily special to me, so here they are in no particular order:

This year at Woodland we were especially ambitious by putting on four exhibitions, all three galleries are currently home to some of the best visual artists from Six Nations. We also have the several pieces in our newly revised sculptural garden including Kelly Greene’s Haudenosaunee Solar Longhouse.  One of my favourite moments from the festival is catching Kelly in her “good clothes” weeding out her sculpture right before the exhibition opening.It was a rare and wonderful treat to hear the live performances of musicians from across the globe; I particularly enjoyed the heart pounding sounds of Hanggai (China), the gorgeous tonkori playing of Oki (Japan), and the sweet melodies of Benny Walker (Australia). I must also acknowledge the lovely Susan Aglukark who managed to get us out of our seats to round dance to one of her fan favourites “Hina Na Ho”.

I can honestly say I’ve never heard laughter booming out of the Orientation Room as loud as it did when Don Burnstick and Charlie Hill performed. I recall looking at the walls at one point to see if they were shaking, everything seemed structurally sound, including our new roof!

Falen Johnson’s play ‘Salt Baby’ holds a special place in my heart; it was amazing the reaction her play received from the local community, a full house enjoyed a night of theatre, fantastic production and performances all around.
One of my favourite semi-annual events at Woodland is the Corn Soup Cook Off,  I can safely bet I was not the only one who ate too much that day.  Speaking of food… for the first time ever Woodland presented a culinary demo with Janace Henry, hosted by the hilarious and audience favourite Cecil Sault. Janace made her famous “scone with beans”, I’m embarrassed to admit I ate about five… ok six.

I also was able to find small moments to enjoy some of this year’s dance workshops, the first with Charles Koroneho from New Zealand who taught me some movements from the Maori war dance, for days the staff that participated were swinging sticks down the hall. The other dance workshop I was able to attend was with world champion hoop dancer Lisa Odjig, she presented to a captive audience under the trees the basic of hoop, its was lovely to see people of all ages give it a try.

Janis and I couldn’t have survived this festival without all the help from the Woodland staff and our summer students.  A special acknowledgement has to be made to Ms. Carley Gallant for all her hard work, positive energy and talents (not to mention her ever resourceful father Ray Gallant).  Pictured here is Carley during an impromptu boomerang throwing lesson by Richard Moore of Goombine.

When in full swing this festival is fuelled by adrenaline, the days and nights are long, and the tasks numerous, but we have come through with what I feel was a major success for Woodland. A huge Nia:weh to all the artists, volunteers, and staff involved.

For more images of the festival please follow the Woodland Cultural Centre on Facebook: