Posted by & filed under Art, Events, Exhibits, Film, Online Activities.

Quilt of Belonging  the Documentary, will be the next online film screening at Woodland Cultural Centre.

Quilt of Belonging Documentary Screening at Woodland

Do you know the story behind the making of Quilt of Belonging?

Our Team is excited to host another virtual event for the community at home. Join us August 16th for a Free Film Screening of “Quilt of Belonging; A Place for All” Documentary with a live introduction and Q & A with the Artist Esther Bryan.

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 we were unable to keep the exhibition open. As we prepare for re-opening we are announcing the online screening of the full length documentary that goes along with this textile piece on August 16, 2020 at 7pm.

Quilt of Belonging is a richly hued portrait of the human family, created by Esther Bryan. It is a 120 ft long collaborative textile art project. The 263 blocks portray the rich cultural legacies of every nation of the world. The Quilt represents over 70 Indigenous Nations in Canada; from Abenaki to Yellowknives Dene First Nation including community members of the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. 

In addition, the exhibition will be extended through to October 31, 2020 to ensure the community has a chance to witness this incredible collaborative piece.


The documentary recounts the story of making the Quilt and includes interviews with artist Esther Bryan and many block makers.

The film screening will include an introduction and a live Q & A with artist Esther Bryan and will take place virtually on a private zoom meeting. 


Free Admission but limited seating capacity in the virtual room.

Wifi/Internet Connection and streaming device will be required. 


“This film screening allows the community to get to know the story of Quilt of Belonging from the comfort of their own homes before we prepare to open the exhibition back up to the public.” – Layla Black, Marketing Coordinator


Block by Block, Community by Community, the Quilt brings us all together.

We look forward to seeing you and your family for this Virtual Learning Experience.


Register for the Zoom Event Here.


Posted by & filed under News, Save the Evidence.


orange shirt day orders online

The Woodland Cultural Centre is now accepting orders of Orange T-Shirts for Orange Shirt Day 2020.

Orange Shirt Day occurs on September 30th each year. It is a time for us to be mindful of the experiences of those who attended residential schools in Canada, and to acknowledge the resiliency of Survivors of the residential school system. Orange Shirt Day originated in British Columbia in recognition of a residential school Survivor whose grandmother had purchased a new orange shirt for them to wear on their first day of school; upon admission, that shirt was taken away and the Survivor never saw it again. The Orange Shirt has since been adopted as a visual representation of the things which our communities have endured throughout the legacy of residential schools and are a recognizable way for us to show our support for Survivors in their healing journeys.

For the fourth year, the Woodland Cultural Centre is selling orange t-shirts, which can be ordered by employees or employers for purchase ahead of the September 30th date.


T-Shirts are available in Youth Sizes Small-XL, and Adult Sizes Small-3XL. All sizes are Unisex. The cost per t-shirt is $20.00, with available methods of payment being cash, debit/credit and cheque.

DEADLINE: Volume Orders are due Thursday, August 20th.

All orders will be available for pickup on Tuesday September 8th. Delivery may be available for organizations outside of the Brantford/Brant County/Six Nations/New Credit area for a fee and by special arrangement only. 

All proceeds from the sale of these shirts go towards supporting the Save the Evidence campaign, which aims to repair and restore the former Mohawk Institute Residential School for use as an interpretive historic site. As one of only a handful of former residential school buildings still standing in Canada, and one of only two in Ontario, the site will be incorporated into Woodland Cultural Centre’s one-of-a-kind educational experience and stand testimony to continued Indigenous Resilience. 

The support from businesses, schools, and organizations over the past years has been incredible and we hope, even though 2020 is a different year, to see the same response from the local community and Nation wide.

Remember, the sooner you are able to submit your orders, the better to guarantee you will receive them in time! Curbside Pickup and Shipping Options are available. 


Click Here to Order through our Online Store


100% of the proceeds from these sales will go to benefit the Save the Evidence campaign, which is working to raise support for the refurbishing and repair of the former Mohawk Institute Residential School building for use as an interpreted historic site. Learn more about the Save the Evidence Campaign


Download Orange Shirt Volume Order Form Here Now


If you need more information about orders or want to place a Volume order, please contact Jessie Hill at If you have questions about the Save the Evidence project, contact Carley Gallant-Jenkins at

Museum Jobs at Woodland Cultural Centre

Posted by & filed under Employment.

Job Opportunity at Woodland Cultural Centre

Posting Period: July 30 – August 12, 2020 @ 4:30p.m.

Position: Custodian

Location: Woodland Cultural Centre, Brantford, ON

Job Status: Contract till March 31, 2021

Hours of Work:      40



Reporting to the Manager of Operations, the Custodian will perform custodial duties, including dusting, mopping, finishing and buffing floors, vacuuming and shampooing carpets, cleaning and restocking restrooms.  The Custodian will work within the policies and procedures established by the Woodland Cultural Centre.



  • Performs general, routine custodial duties, to include dusting, mopping, vacuuming, cleaning restrooms, and restocking paper and soap supplies.
  • Performs routine maintenance to custodial equipment and supplies.
  • Empties trash receptacles, disposes trash into compactors and/or dumpsters, and bags trash for proper disposal.
  • Unlocks doors, ensuring doors are locked after cleaning areas.
  • Reports needs and concerns to appropriate staff, which may include submitting or recommending work orders and checking supply levels.
  • Ensures proper care in the use and maintenance of equipment and supplies; promotes continuous improvement of workplace safety and environmental practices.
  • Assists in on-the-job training of new staff on routine procedures.
  • Performs cleaning functions specific to the assigned facilities and/or based on seasonal/project requirements.
  • May provide vendors with access to areas for cleaning and may answer basic questions. May report issues with vendors to supervisor.
  • May assist or perform snow removal activities and minor maintenance, such as replacing light bulbs, adjusting furniture, or other similar activities.
  • Performs miscellaneous job-related duties as assigned.


***For a full description of the Essential Duties & Responsibilities and Education/Experience, please refer to attached Job Description for further details***

Download Job Description Here



All applicants for this position should submit a cover letter, resume, and three references. 

Preference will be given to applicants of Indigenous heritage.

Closing Date: August 12th, 2020 at 4:30 pm 


If interested, please send cover letter and resumé with references to:

 Woodland Cultural Centre

184 Mohawk Street, Brantford, ON, N3S 2X2

Manager of Operations 

(519) 759-2650

Please Note:

  • Only those applicants who meet the qualifications will be contacted for an interview
  • Police Record Check and copies of education will be required at the time of Offer of Employment


Nia:wen/Thank You





Posted by & filed under News, Save the Evidence.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the #GivingChallengeCA in June. The community support was overwhelming.

Congratulations to “Sistering A-Woman’s Place” who were the winners of the Great Canadian Giving Challenge $20,000 prize.

Even though we did not win this year, with your support, donations and shares we were able to raise MORE than that prize value in just one month. Watch this quick Thank you video and see how much we were able to raise in June.


The funds raised in June will be used to document Residential School Survivor Stories and travel to surround communities to gather them. Keeping this oral tradition and learning directly from those who experienced it, is vital to the Save the Evidence campaign. The month was a huge success, yet we still have a long way to go to complete Phase 3 of the project.

We hope to have your continued support this year to Save the Evidence and preserve the Mohawk Institute Residential School. All donations of $100+ will be acknowledged on our Supporters Page of our website. This is updated weekly, so if you don’t see your name there don’t hesitate to reach out to us!

Learn more about the Save the Evidence Campaign and how you can help here:



Posted by & filed under Archives, Events, News, Online Activities, Save the Evidence.

I realized that being in a residential school was a lot worse than I thought because I got to visualize what happened.  – Grade 7 Student 

Mohawk Institute Virtual Tour Now Available Online to Support the Save the Evidence Campaign:

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 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.

The Woodland Cultural Centre presents a screening of the Mohawk Institute Residential School as a fundraiser for the Save the Evidence fundraising campaign. 



April 21, 2021 7PM

$10 Donation

Register Here

May 19, 2021 at 7PM

$10 Donation

Register Here


We are offering both private group viewings for businesses, schools and organizations; and public viewings monthly where anyone can register.

mohawk institute virtual tourThe virtual tour video was created with local production company Thru the Reddoor, and it follows the guide, Lorrie Gallant, as she gives a tour of the former Mohawk Institute Indian Residential School. During the video Lorrie provides the history of the institution over its 140 year history. Viewers will get to see the different rooms in the school, from the girls’ and boys’ dormitories, the cafeteria, laundry room, and other rooms throughout the building, as well as hear interviews from five Survivors of the Mohawk Institute.

To request and book a private viewing CLICK HERE NOW and download the request form.

Email the form to and our fundraising team will be in touch to schedule the event.

Hosting your own Virtual Tour is a great way to help us fundraise to complete Phase 3 of the project.

We can’t wait until we are ready to finally open our doors to the public and allow in person tours of the Mohawk Institute, but we are going to need your support to do that. Donate to the Campaign Here. However in the meantime, the Virtual Tour of the building is still extremely powerful and eye opening.

A special thank you to those that have been supporting the Save the Evidence campaign along the way. All donations $100+ will be acknowledged on our website on the Supporters page and updated weekly. If you can’t find your name please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.


Watch the Mohawk Institute Virtual Tour Trailer Now

and gives us a Follow on our Youtube for Updates!


Stay Plugged Into our Quarterly E-newsletter

Posted by & filed under Archives, Events, News, Save the Evidence.

50th Anniversary of the Closure of the Mohawk Institute Residential School

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.

This month marks the 50th anniversary for the last students that would ever attend the Mohawk Institute Residential School.

Photo: Newspaper Article September 27 1970, The Hamilton Spectator

There are many archives, and a full narrative of the schools timeline, published by the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation. However, one of the best ways to truly understand the history of residential schools is from the Survivors themselves.

Sherlene Bomberry, marks her 50th anniversary of leaving the Mohawk Institute, as the last class of 1970.

She shared this photo of her when she left the school at the age of 14. You can also watch her video below , sharing some of the moments from her interview. She wrote a piece for us to publish on our website to honour all those who attended over the years. We couldn’t have found a better way to acknowledge this moment in history. Nya:weh Sherlene.

Mohawk Institute Survivor SherlenE bomberrySge:no swagwego! Ewehehewi ne gya:soh. Otahyoni: niwagehsyaode. Gayogoho:no nigohwejode. From and lives on the Six Nations of the Grand.


Fifty years ago, June 1970, I left the Mohawk Institute Residential School in Brantford, ON at the age of 14 passing into grade 9.  The Residential School closed its doors as a school but inside I left with many years of generational trauma and secrets.  In September 1966, CAS apprehended myself and three siblings from my mom and baby sister. We ranged in ages of 10, 8, 7 & 5. Separated with boys on one side and girls on the other. Those were the loneliest times of my young life.


Three children have chosen me as their mom, and twelve grand babies and one great grandson.


Twenty years ago I took off this coat of shame and guilt and admitted yes I was in that Residential School. That was a heavy coat to wear and I am very grateful for all who have come in my path to guide, support, and encourage me to connect to Who I Am and Where I came from. I’ve fostered and enhanced my personal and professional growth to breaking cycles and moving forward. I am Proud of Me!! No regrets to my past as I respect my healing journey through past and future generations.


Nyaweh gowah



With only a few more days left in the Giving Challenge to win the $20,000 prize, that money would be used to travel to surrounding communities and record more of these Survivor stories and document their truths and pass them on the future generations.



Please share this post and ask others to Donate to the “Save the Evidence” Campaign.



Posted by & filed under Events.

The History of Orange Shirt Day

history of orange shirt dayOrange Shirt Day happens every year on September 30th. It began as a way to honour all of the Indigenous children that attended residential schools in Canada. It has since become an opportunity to educate and remember the tragedy of residential schools and the cruel circumstances that Indigenous children experienced.

Approximately 150,000 Indigenous children from all across the country during the 1860s to the 1970s were taken away from their homes, stripped of their language, families, and culture by these church-run schools in Canada in a failed attempt to assimilate them. 

Why is Orange Shirt Day in September?

Orange Shirt Day falls on September 30 as this is the time of year children were taken away to residential schools. Some of them returned home for the summers, but some had no other option but to stay there year round.

The colour Orange was chosen as a result of the experiences of residential school survivor, Phyllis Webstad. Phyllis was only 6 years old when she was sent to St Joseph’s Mission residential school in British Columbia from 1973-1974. Her grandmother had taken her to the store and bought her a brand new shiny orange shirt to wear to school. Phyllis was so excited to wear it to school. However, when Phyllis arrived, she was stripped of her clothing and never saw her orange shirt again. She was neglected, abused, and made to feel like she didn’t matter. She wasn’t allowed to go home for 300 sleeps. She recalls that every child there was crying to go home, but nobody at the school truly cared for them. They were made to feel alone, worthless, and like nobody would save them. Phyllis says that the colour Orange now reminds her of that time in her life where her feelings didn’t matter. Phyllis’ story is a difficult one to hear, and unfortunately it is like many others that attended residential schools. 

Fortunately, Phyllis was able to return home to her grandmother after that year. As the Executive Director of the Orange Shirt Society, she now uses her story and platform to raise awareness about Orange Shirt Day, and turn the feeling of no one cares into healing and remembrance that every child matters.

The experiences at residential schools shaped the generations that have since come after them. While there is still a long way to go, Orange Shirt Day is a step towards recognition and healing for countless Indigenous people. 

Watch her video below.

Last year, Woodland Cultural Centre sold a record breaking amount of Orange Shirts as the surrounding community came together to acknowledge this day of remembrance. 

Orange Shirts will still be sold at Woodland Cultural Centre for $20, and all proceeds will go towards the Save the Evidence Campaign. Shirts can be shipped or scheduled for Curbside pick up this year.

Buy Orange Shirts Online Now


Educational Teacher Resources for Orange Shirt Day


Woodland Cultural Centre will be offering Orange Shirt Day programming for schools, organizations, and family’s at home digitally this year. These online events will span over Sept 29th, 2020 to Oct 4th, 2020. Make sure to Subscribe to our E-newsletter or follow us on Facebook to get the updates and registration announcement for this event.

In the meantime, check out these Free Educational Teachers Resources for Orange Shirt Day (including printable stickers!)





Posted by & filed under Save the Evidence.

From the desk of Laura Palumbo, founder of Sketchy Rub Club:

Save the Evidence mohawk institute residential school restoration project

Save the Evidence mohawk institute residential school restoration project


A bit about Sketchy Run Club: we are an anti-workout run club. It started with two new moms (Rachelle and I) starting something ‘sketchy’ (i.e. semi-committal) where we would keep each other accountable for taking care of ourselves. One Hour a week dedicated completely to either running or walking, and the option of having a post-run beverage and chat, that didn’t involve being moms. We put our run out there to anyone that wanted to join, and as it turned out, lots of people that weren’t parents felt that they needed the exact same thing!  All of this to say that we didn’t intend to start a community but it just happened. We felt that we needed to establish a sense of belonging in the best way that we could, even though this was a once-a-week run, and on top of other life commitments like jobs, family, etc. 

save the evidence My first experience with Woodland Cultural Centre was through my work with Waterlution and Great Art for Great Lakes. These projects  are concerned with water both globally and locally, a key focus was learning and exploring Indigenous worldviews and relationships to water. Through this programming, I became aware of the Centre.

The first time I learned of Residential Schools was likely in high school, but the first time I understood what they were and what happened to those that attended the schools (or were affected by it because of family that attended) 

was when I worked at the CBC and Connie Walker began reporting on truth and reconciliation.  I won’t ever fully be able to understand the experience of those that attended residential schools as a settler; however, it has not stopped impacting me and the desire to speak up and support in ways that I can. 

Initially, when I spoke to Carley, I was thinking that our SRC could raise funds to support an arts-based Indigenous youth initiative. This was my comfort zone–supporting youth with access to more art. But in learning more about the Save the Evidence campaign, and connecting this to Tanya Talaga’s book  Seven Fallen Feathers and what I knew was a learning opportunity for our run club (and by extension professionals, parents, students, teachers, etc) Rachelle and I felt it would do more than simply raise money, because it would educate and inspire future generations of settlers to understand our responsibility to preserving and promoting Indigenous history, art and culture.

As a collective, we are humbled by the hard work and dedication by Woodland Cultural Centre in keeping the truth and history of Canada’s residential school system present in our hearts and minds for current and future generations to learn and understand. Our donation is dedicated to the memory of all of those who attended the Mohawk Institute.

– Laura Palumbo


Woodland Cultural Centre is grateful for community members, businesses, and organizations that have supported the Save the Evidence Campaign. As part of the Great Canadian Giving Challenge, our campaign will have the chance to win an extra $20,000 for the project. Read More about how the $20,000 would help the Save the Evidence Campaign here.

Every $1 raised in the month of June will give us one entry to win the Grand Prize.

Please help us spread the word and make a donation this month to help Save the Evidence