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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:

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This exhibit will expose the Canadian public to the unknown contributions and the very role the Haudenosaunee warriors played in the War of 1812. The contribution by the Haudenosaunee warriors both in the United States and in Canada is an unheard and unacknowledged history that caused great strife within the Six Nations Confederacy. The exhibit will explore the correspondences between the various Haudenosaunee communities in the U.S. and in Canada who were involved in the War of 1812 by their respective allies. The Haudenosaunee Confederacy Council becomes divided again by the actions of our allies when certain communities refused to get involved in the war, while others join the cause to bring attention to our land rights. This war caused more than casualties; it caused families to bring up arms against one another, which went against our Great Law of Peace. In the end, our people the Haudenosaunee were left with great damages to the loss of further lands and loss of men who fought in the war. The exhibit will display several archival letters, war weapons and artifacts pertaining to the Haudenosaunee specifically those warriors from Six Nations of the Grand River.

The Woodland Cultural Centre is the leading First Nations-managed museum in the country, and as such the Centre will play a pivotal role in the bicentennial of the War of 1812, particularly for Six Nations. The Six Nations Haudenosaunee were crucial allies of the British Crown for the duration of this conflict, and continues to this day. It is important to our community at Six Nations of the Grand River that we are appropriately recognized and active in plans, events and activities planned for this bicentennial.

War Clubs & Wampum Belts: Haudenosaunee in the War of 1812 will provide a summary of the Haudenosaunee involvement in the conflict, as well as outline the conflicting viewpoints of the Haudenosaunee at Buffalo Creek and those at Grand River. The exhibition is also proposing to put on display the wampum belt given to the Haudenosaunee from William Claus during the War of 1812. Of notable interest will be the personal stories of those warriors who were involved in the War and their interpretations in their own languages. Accompanying the exhibition will be a comprehensive museum education program with a specifically designed tour program, development of a War of 1812 edu-kit for pre-visit activities, a catalogue which will serve to be a legacy piece for Six Nations, and a public programme which will include film screenings, workshops and seminars relevant to the exhibit.

The Woodland Cultural Centre’s mandate states: The Woodland Cultural Centre is a First Nations educational and cultural centre. It was established in 1972 to protect, promote, interpret, and present the history, language, intellect and cultural heritage of the Anishinaabe and Onkwehon:we. This mandate is from our member Nations: Wahta Mohawks, Six Nations of the Grand River and the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte.
Haudenosaunee in the War of 1812 is an exhibit that will foster a greater understanding of the role of the Six Nations people in the War and our various allegiances to the general public; our First Nations communities and particularly to elementary and high school students. The Woodland Cultural Centre has great relationships with various regional school boards with a large majority of our student tours for grades three and six, along with many high schools.

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Posted: 12/08/14

Congratulation to Selina, recent winner of our Museum and Library game. The game involved a hunt for the red ‘Planet IndigenUS’ ribbons througout the museum, the object of the game was to sketch the artefacts and research content based on what one sketched.

Thank-you to all those who participated.

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Posted: 12/07/26

Kelly Greene is one of the three Six Nations artists contributing to Woodland’s sculptural garden Earthly Connections.  Her Haudenosaunee Solar Longhouse (2012) is the fourth rendition of the piece; previous versions of the work have been exhibited as indoor gallery installations, made from recyclable materials.  This rendering of Haudenosaunee Solar Longhouse is constructed of native trees, vines, and grasses surrounding two twelve-foot long steel beams, a subtle nod to the agricultural and trades training once administered by the Mohawk Institute.  On June 15 several summer students, Woodland staff, and Pat from Van Den Nest Nursery assisted Kelly with the planting.
Other works featured in Earthly Connections include the rehabilitation of Vince Bomberry’s popular Gus-wen-tah (Two Row Wampum), and a new commission by recent recipient of the OAC Aboriginal Artist award Shelley Niro.  These three works will continue the Woodland’s tradition of dedicating a space to the sculptural works of First Nations artists.  Official opening for all visual arts exhibitions is slated for Saturday August 12 at 2PM; many of the artists will be on site to discuss their works.

Earthly Connections is generously supported by the Ontario Arts Council

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Posted: 12/06/08

Thank you to everyone that participated in our Smoke Dance Competition! See below for the full list of winners.

Golden Age Division
Male – 1st Place: Marvin Skye
Female – 1st Place: Deanna Skye

Adult Division
1st Place: Tony Johnson
2nd Place: KC Bomberry
3rd Place: Adam Skye
1st Place: Cecelia Skye
2nd Place: Cheryl Red Eagle
3rd Place: Courtney Thomas

Teen Division
1st Place: Keelan Green
1st Place: Larisa Skye
2nd Place: Christina Hill-Harris

Boy’s Division
1st Place: Trystin Harris

Girl’s Division
1st Place: Tilia Skye
2nd Place: Lexi Doxtater
3rd Place: Mikayla Ritchie

Tiny Tot Winners
Charissa Mt. Pleasant, Michael Mt. Pleasant, Deborah Antone, Ethan Thomas, Derrick King

Congratulations to all winners!

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Posted: 12/03/22

Construction began at the end of February where the Museum is getting a new roof and much needed structural, electrical and mechanical repairs to get our museum back to a respectable standing.  The repairs are set to be finished by the end of July 2012 and the staff and visitors will have an exciting new museum to experience this summer just in time for the Planet IndigenUS Festival.

The construction may temporarily close down some of the galleries and exhibit areas, so please ensure that you contact the Woodland Cultural Centre through email or call our front desk at 519-759-2650 ext. 221 before you plan your trip to our museum.

The Woodland Cultural Centre would like to say Nia:wen to our generous funding agencies that made this construction possible: Six Nations Community Development Trust Fund; Ontario Trillium Foundation and Six Nations Elected Council.