The Save the Evidence initiative was launched in 2015 to restore the Mohawk Institute Residential School, one of the last residential schools standing in Canada
BRANTFORD/ SIX NATIONS, ON – Ahead of National Indigenous Appreciation month, the Woodland Cultural Centre (WCC) announced their success in reaching their fundraising goal of $23.5 million for the Save the Evidence campaign – an initiative to restore the Mohawk Institute Residential School, one of the last residential schools standing in Canada. Since 2015, the WCC, a philanthropic organization dedicated to informing, educating and promoting Indigenous culture, history, language, and arts, have worked to support the Mohawk Institute Residential School in their fundraising efforts that will allow the organization to continue working towards the completion of the Save the Evidence restoration project.
In addition to the capital costs of the restoration, Woodland will leverage the funds raised to travel throughout the communities they support to collect, record and preserve stories of Survivors and generational Survivors.
“Protecting oral histories are integral to the campaign and will encourage the children of future generations to hear stories told by Survivors, who as children themselves, endured traumatic conditions and experiences,” said Janis Monture, Executive Director, Woodland Cultural Centre.
The total budget for the restoration of the Mohawk Institute Residential School Building was CAD 23.5 million. With the assistance and support of Six Nations Elected Council, City of Brantford, SC Johnson, Ontario’s Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs, Ontario’s The Journey Together: Ontario’s Commitment to Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, and the Federal and Provincial governments’ Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. Additionally, just over CAD one million from private donations were received over the last six years, which have greatly benefited the last phase of the campaign. All continued donations raised will help the WCC reach their target goal of completing this historic and monumental project to preserve the former Mohawk Institute Indian Residential School as a “site of conscience” for all future generations.
Monture continued, Woodland would like to thank the Survivors of the Mohawk Institute Residential School who were forced to be at this institution. Woodland cannot thank these individuals enough for trusting them with their truths and for the guidance these last six years. WCC will continue to tell these truths and Share the Evidence with the rest of the world in late 2024, when they hope to re-open the building as a testament to this dark chapter in history.
As they look towards the future, Woodland Cultural Centre is excited to launch a new capital fundraising campaign for a new cultural centre entitled ‘Acknowledging Our Story’. This new campaign is led by a Capital Committee whose members include Ava Hill, Ron Jamieson, and Kathleen Wynne, and honourary chair Robbie Robertson. The committee is looking towards a formal launch in October to raise CAD 65 million for the development of a ‘centre of excellence’ and state-of-the-art cultural hub. It is important that this building is a steward of the territorial lands of the Six Nations of the Grand River, therefore it must leave as small of a carbon footprint for the future – for those ‘faces yet to come.’ This new building will be integrated to meet current museum and gallery Class A standards for 35,000 items in the collection.
Woodland Cultural Centre greatly appreciates the community’s support in helping spread awareness about this initiative. For more information please visit woodlandculturalcentre.ca.
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