Lecture and film to open discussion on history of residential school

Susan Enberg, creator of a documentary on a notoriously violent residential school in Northern Ontario, will talk about her film at a free public lecture in Brantford at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 25 at Laurier Brantford.

The discussion will follow screening of the film “In Jesus’ Name: Shattering the Silence of St. Anne’s Residential School.” The film is a poignant all-Indigenous English and Cree-English collaborative documentary film that breaks long-held silences imposed upon indigenous children who were interned at the school in Fort Albany First Nation, Ontario.

The free event will be at 7 p.m. in Room RCE 004 in the Research and Academic Centre, Laurier Brantford, 150 Dalhousie St.

The event is the second lecture in a series entitled “What is Reconciliation?” It is 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 association with Laurier Brantford.

The goal of the lecture series is to educate people and promote a community dialog about the former Mohawk Institute Indian Residential School and reconciliation, said Rob Knechtel, vice-chair of Friends and Neighbours, who is co-ordinating the series. The Mohawk Institute, on Mohawk Street in Brantford, operated as a residential school from 1828 until its closure in 1970.

“This year we want to focus on the question of decolonization,” said Knechtel. “We all have to move in that direction as individuals. We have to do the work ourselves.”

The third lecture in the 2017-18 series will be on Nov. 22. Retired Justice James Kent, of the Ontario Superior Court, who presided over cases involving Six Nations land claims, will speak on “The Potential for Reconciliation of Land Claims, Treaty Obligations and Common Ground.”

More lectures will take place in early 2018 with details to be announced later.

Save the Evidence is a capital campaign to raise awareness and support for the repair and renovation of the Mohawk Institute building. The campaign is in response to devastating roof leaks, which caused significant damage to the interior and exterior of the building. It is currently undergoing the first of three phases of renovation.

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

For more information about the film visit, mcintyre.ca/titles/SGE000.

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