As part of SOCAN’s ongoing journey toward understanding the impact of residential schools in Canada, the organization’s Equity Task Force arranged for a virtual tour of the former Mohawk Institute Residential School, presented by the Woodland Cultural Centre, on April 21, 2020.
With SOCAN’s Catharine Saxberg moderating, Trisha Kelley, Development Co-Ordinator, and Chris Ashkewe, Associate Director, of the Woodland Cultural Centre, discussed the school and its 140-year history.
The event included a room-by-room video tour of the building, guided by Lorrie Gallant, which offered a powerful and poignant account of the horrific abuses suffered there, and testimony from five survivors. It was a moving, at times disturbing, but valuable way to understand the facts about what happened at residential schools.
In an extended question-and-answer session with Ashkewe that followed the video tour, he addressed possible reparations and accountability for residential school abuses; how we might move towards reconciliation; including residential school history in our current scholastic curriculum in Ontario; and more.
To find out more about what happened at the former Mohawk Institute Residential School, click here. To register for a viewing of the video, click here. To donate to the Woodland Cultural Centre, click here.