BRANTFORD — The legacy of Indian Residential Schools and ways to advance the cause of reconciliation will be the focus of the 2019-20 annual lecture series sponsored by the Friends and Neighbours of The Save The Evidence Campaign.
The lectures approach the topics from unique vantage points: the history of lacrosse, the recollections of a Canadian senator, the stories of Indigenous students and others. This is the fourth season for the lecture series, which will open in October and run until March. All events are free and open to the public.
The lectures are sponsored by the Friends and Neighbours Group, a grassroots committee of volunteers supporting the Woodland Cultural Centre’s Save The Evidence Campaign. The lectures are presented in partnership with Laurier Brantford and The Sanderson Centre.
The goal of the lecture series is to educate visitors and promote a community dialog about the former Mohawk Institute Indian Residential School and reconciliation. The Mohawk Institute in Brantford, operated as a residential school from 1828 until its closure in 1970.
The first four presentations will take place within the Laurier Brantford Research and Academic Centre, 150 Dalhousie St. The fifth lecture, by Tanya Talega, will take place at the Sanderson Centre, 88 Dalhousie St.
The first lecture will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 9 with Alan Downey, author of an award-winning book on the history of lacrosse, describes how it was used by Indigenous people to resist residential school experiences and display their sovereignty. Research and Academic Centre Room RCE 004.
The second lecture will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 6 – The Sleeping Giant Awakes: Genocide, Indian Residential Schools and Conciliation – by Dr. David B. MacDonald, from Treaty 4 territory and a professor at the University of Guelph, provides a unique perspective on the prospects for conciliation following the genocide of the residential school system and the “Sixties Scoop.” Presented in conjunction with Reconciling Circle, organizers of Treaties Recognition Week. Research and Academic Centre Room RCE 004.
While the third will land on Wednesday, Nov. 27 –Seeking Shelter: Indigenous People Seeking Safety in Their Own Country – Senator Dr. Mary Jane McCallum, a dentist of Cree heritage, has provided dental care to First Nations communities across Manitoba. She will share her experience as a residential school survivor as part of her ongoing effort to raise awareness and understanding. Research and Academic Centre Room RCE 004.
On Wednesday, Jan. 15 – Her Water Drum – This award-winning film by Jonathan Elliott of Six Nations deals with the topic of missing and murdered Indigenous women, highlighting the impact it has on individual families and their communities. Research and Academic Centre Room RCW 002.
The final lecture will fall on Tuesday, March 24 – Seven Fallen Feathers – Investigative journalist Tanya Talega’s acclaimed book focuses on the lives of Indigenous students over a quarter century in Thunder Bay, ON. She delves into the history of the community that has come to represent Canada’s long struggle with human rights violations against Indigenous communities. Sanderson Centre, 88 Dalhousie St.
A bit about the campaign and its basis: The Save the Evidence is a capital campaign to raise awareness and support for the repair and renovation of the Mohawk Institute building. Its goal is to ensure the physical evidence of the dark history of residential schools in Canada is never forgotten.
After its closure in 1970, the former Mohawk Institute reopened as the Woodland Cultural Centre, which operates as a museum, gallery, and cultural hub for indigenous history, language, education, art, and contemporary culture. The Save the Evidence campaign has received support from Six Nations Elected Council, the City of Brantford and the Province of Ontario, as well as from individuals and organizations