Final funding for Woodland Cultural Centre from Canada and Ontario Government helps complete Phase 3 of the restoration project.
Brantford/Six Nations, ON, July 20, 2021 – The Woodland Cultural Centre is pleased to announce complete funding for Phase 3 of the physical restoration of the Mohawk Institute Residential School building. Janis Monture, Executive Director, noted, “With this funding we are that much closer to realizing our dream of opening up the former Mohawk Institute Residential School as an important interpretive heritage site to educate Canada and to uncover the truth.”
The Woodland Cultural Centre was able to raise substantial funds for Phase 3, in the amount of $378,437 through individual and community donors. The Centre’s Board of Director is happy that the broader community has actively supported the aspiration of the Centre ensuring the preservation of the Mohawk Institute Residential School as a heritage site dedicated to honouring the memories of its Survivors and ensuring that it is place of learning and remembrance.
Phase 3 funding has been supported by the Government of Canada, through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program in the amount of $7.6 million, and by the province of Ontario in the amount of $1.8 million. Additional support was provided by the City of Brantford and SC Johnson.
“This investment represents another critical step forward on Canada’s path to reconciliation, which involves preserving and confronting the tragic truths of the residential school system, to ensure this horrific and dark chapter in our history is never forgotten. I commend the Woodland Cultural Centre for this powerful and important project, and all levels of government for standing beside Six Nations as partners as they continue to heal”, noted Phil McColeman who has supported the project from the outset.
Phase 1 and 2 of the Mohawk Institute Residential School restoration was generously supported through funding from Six Nation of the Grand River, City of Brantford, Government of Canada, through the Cultural Spaces program and a major Phase 2 contribution from the Province of Ontario, in addition to the generous donation to the Woodland Cultural Centre, Save the Evidence campaign.
“Across the country, Indigenous communities and Canadians are mourning as more unmarked graves are located at the sites of former Residential Schools. Ensuring Canadians have a space where they can learn and acknowledge the past is an important step in reconciliation. Today’s announcement for the third phase of the Save the Evidence project at the Woodland Cultural Centre, will help rehabilitate the Mohawk Institute Residential School site in Six Nations of the Grand River, and allow for healing and the preservation of a past that should not be forgotten. In partnership with Indigenous peoples, provinces and territories, we continue our work to advance reconciliation and ensure Indigenous communities have the tools needed to succeed and ensure the well-being of their people.” – The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
“Our government stands shoulder to shoulder with Indigenous partners as we support community-directed work to identify and commemorate Indigenous Residential School sites across the province. Today’s investment in the Woodland Cultural Centre is critical to the important work being done by Six Nations of the Grand River to build a national resource to support public education and centre for healing for the community.” – The Honourable Greg Rickford, Ontario’s Minister of Indigenous Affairs
“It was a good day to know that the site of the former Mohawk Institute Indian Residential School will receive the funding necessary to restore the building and will house the history and stories of the “Mushhole” school children. Having the site designated as a National Heritage Site is significant to this history as well.” – Roberta Hill, Mohawk Institute Residential School Survivor
What is the Woodland Cultural Centre: Woodland Cultural Centre serves to preserve and promote Indigenous history, art, language and culture. We welcome you to visit and learn with us as we bring the story of the Haudenosaunee people of the Eastern Woodlands to life through innovative exhibitions and programs. The Save the Evidence is a campaign to raise awareness and support for the restoration of the former Mohawk Institute Residential School, and to develop the building into an Interpreted Historic Site and Educational Resource. As a site of conscience, the final goal is to create a fully-realized Interpretive Centre that will be the definitive destination for information about the history of Residential Schools in Canada, the experiences of Survivors of the schools, and the impact that the Residential School system has had on our communities.