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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.