As one of only a handful of residential school buildings left still standing in Canada, the Mohawk Institute Indian Residential School is a physical reminder of the legacy of assimilation imposed upon First Nations children in Canada. More than 15,000 people visit the Mohawk Institute, as part of the Woodland Cultural Centre, every year. Visitors come to see not only what was once the longest-running residential school in Canada, but to experience the stories the building holds.
In 2013, major roof leaks caused significant and costly damage to the building. With such large costs to repair the building, the Woodland Cultural Centre conducted several Community Consultations to gauge the level of support from the community. The results were overwhelming, with more than 98% in support of the restoration of the Mohawk Institute.
The Save The Evidence fundraising campaign was launched in response. Its goal is to raise the necessary funds for repairs and renovations to ensure the physical evidence of the dark history of Residential Schools in Canada is never forgotten.
A Brief History of the Mohawk Institute
The Mohawk Institute Indian Residential School operated in Brantford, Ontario from 1828 to 1970. It served as a boarding school for First Nations children from Six Nations, as well as other communities throughout Ontario and Quebec. It served as a key tool in the effort to assimilate First Nations children into European Christian society, and sever the continuity of culture from parent to child. After closing in 1970, it reopened in 1972 as the Woodland Cultural Centre, a non-profit organization that serves to preserve and promote First Nations culture and heritage.
The Mohawk Institute Indian Residential School Building, as part of the Woodland Cultural Centre, has been providing in-depth and historically significant insight into the Residential School System for the past 44 years. With close to 10,000 visitors every year, their tours and programs offer a distinctive look into First Nations and Canadian history.