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We are now fully booked for Tours until July 2017. If you would like to book a tour for the summer or for the 2017/18 school year, please contact or 519-759-2650 ext 230. We apologize for any inconvenience, and would like to thank everyone for their continued support of Woodland!

Couldn’t get a tour for this school year? Call us to inquire about our educational and craft workshops we can bring to you! You can check out the full list here: Education, Crafts

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Construction and renovations have officially begun on the former Mohawk Institute Indian Residential School building. Thank you to all of our donors and supporters who made this possible!

While construction is ongoing, please note that parking at Woodland has adjusted slightly. When planning your visit, please refer to the above map. Thank you for your patience during this time!

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UnREZerved (February 25 – May 2, 2017)
Opening Reception: February 25th, 12PM – 2PM

Authoritative constructions of geographic documents such as maps, are often represented as bordered and contained. This makes it difficult for non-Indigenous people to conceptualize borders as transforming over time; not that they do not exist, but that they transform in relation to multiple fields of engagement and cultural contexts. Geographic borders also work to distance us from one another, especially in terms of national boundaries, which in turn create nationalities: peoples defined within those territorial borders. At the same time, these geographic boundaries can be important defining features of a community. “UnReZerved” includes subject matter of creation stories, legends, significant reference marks for cultural significance, traditional place names, negotiations with the government, commodification of natural resources. All of these features lead to a better understanding of the treaty process that is currently in effect, “as long as the sun shines, the rivers flow, and the grass grows”.

In this exhibition, the viewer is ‘UnReZerved’ to explore visual storytelling that challenges our acquired and sometimes preconceived personal knowledge. Perusing subject matter of the artists’ and understanding the forces of assimilation from each of their collective treaty boundaries, the experience can educate and better inform viewers. The complexity of this issue is juxtaposed in relation to subject matter from the three Traditional Schools of Art – Inuit, West Coast and Woodlands style art. Common themes of natural and supernatural connections do not delineate far from one another. Noticeable difference is usually represented in the style or technique. West Coast style is often created in a Totemic style. Inuit style art is largely created from printmaking. Woodlands style often replicates “X- Ray” stylized paintings. In this exhibit, we should find new inspiration through historical and contemporary visual storytelling created by the original Inhabitants of this land. Forward thinking, allows a better understanding and a respectful opportunity for a cultural sharing of knowledge that would include reciprocal learning without prejudice as a basis of new understanding.

Please join us for the opening reception February 25th at 12PM. Refreshments will be available, and this event is free and open to the public.

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Canadian Stage, Native Earth Performing Arts and Volcano Theatre have come together to present Theatre of Upheaval, a week long intensive consisting of two mind-blowing workshops led by acclaimed international artists, Kiki Katese, founding director of Rwanda Professional Dreamers and Ingoma Nshya (“New Era”) – Women Initiatives and Rachael Maza, Artistic Director of Ilbijerri Theatre Company in Australia.

The workshops will be taking place from March 31st to April 5th. For full workshop descriptions, instructors’ bios and the schedule visit:

Here’s the great part: we have received some generous funding to award bursaries to 4 Indigenous Artists and the Woodland Cultural Centre will nominate either two people to take part in both classes or four people to take part in one class each.

Below are some parameters:
– Individual must be over the age of 19
– Individual has a demonstrated practice in theater making and performance

If you or someone you know is interested – Please contact Artistic Associate – Gyeho Thomas at the Woodland Cultural Centre via email at before Tuesday February 21, 2017.

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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.