Mush Hole – stand or demolish

The time has come to make a decision regarding the future of the former Mohawk Institute building. Repairs are desperately needed which could cost several hundreds of thousands of dollars to complete. Since the “Mush Hole” closed on 1971, some former students have called for all memory of their horror to be erased by tearing down the old school.

But for others, the school stands as a monument to racism and genocide in Canada, and therefore should remain standing or maybe even turned into a residential school museum like the Holocaust Museum in Israel.

It is time to let your voice be heard on the matter. The Woodland Cultural Centre is asking for help in determining the fate of the Mohawk school, which was built in 1904. Community input can be registered at the Six Nations Tourism Assembly Room beginning Tuesday, Sept 24 and again on Thursday September 26, from 6 pm until 9 pm. Then again of Saturday Sept. 26 at the GREAT Opportunity Centre, Room 103 from 10 am until 2 pm.

Should the former Mush Hole building stand or should it be torn down. It’s your call.

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  1. What I have to say isn’t pleasant by any means. It even causes me great pain because SOMEBODY’S got to say it. The people of Six Nations MUST get off their duffs and DO something about this charade going on with Brantford council. We’ve seen enough from Hancock, and now we’re seeing similar behaviour from Friel, a man who once presented himself as “the voice of reason” in matters that concerned Six Nations. He must be taking his lead from dictator Harper now as his very conduct would suggest that is the case.

    Six Nations has NO future worth talking about if we sit on our hands and do nothing, leaving the defence of our land claims to a few brave souls who have put it all on the line for the faces yet to come. The saddest thing is, if it must be done we’ll have to do it ourselves because, based on past experience, there was next to NO leadership displayed by our dysfunctional traditional chiefs. (But not all of them). It would appear that SOME of the chiefs are more interested in holding on to their misplaced sense of self-importance than actually offering the people even a scrap of wisdom and direction. Instead, their ears are deaf to the will of the people. In my opinion, if the Great Law were to be truly applied, there would be some serious dehorning taking place on Six Nations Territory! They cannot demand respect when they give none, yet they seem to mistakenly believe it’s their birthright. The Great Law says otherwise.

    It seems the united front we showed to the world during the days of The Protected Place was something of an anomaly. It has disappeared into the gloom of indifference and inaction. Again, leaving the responsibility to a brave few. They, at least, have proven their worth to Creator and can call themselves Onkwehone:we / Haudenosaunee with confidence and humility while most of us have no right to lay claim to that honour. All we can lay claim to is our status card for tax exemption and the gas card for cheap gas.

    So, if we’re content with the way things stand, then we’ll have NO choice but to accept the results of our indifference without whining when it all falls down. And it will. Apathy and indifference will be the downfall from which we of Six Nations will never recover. Go ahead, surrender your dignity and your pride of self to Brantford. The sacrifices of the Old Ones who went before, the seven generations we so often refer to (lip service) will all be for naught. If we don’t fight for it, then we don’t deserve it, leaving no one to blame but ourselves!

    It’s all about choice and Brantford is hoping, betting the farm the people of Six Nations will make the wrong choice! Six Nations is on the verge of becoming irrelevant as far as Brantford is concerned!!! If we can’t take on Brantford, we can forget about taking on Ottawa. The thing that comes to mind as I finish my words, refers to another article in this edition of the Two Row Times which says “Native Americans: Should have fought harder, you pussies.” Do NOT put this problem “under the pillow,” for when you wake, it may all be gone.

  2. John, I WAS leaning toward tearing it down. I have a problem with my ability to see both sides of most issues and could see good reason for doing so. I weighed the cons of restoring it as a museum as well. That said, your argument has swayed me and I must say, I support your ideas and reasoning for leaving it stand. So yes! Keep in “their” faces and yes, our future generations need to understand what their ancestors went through……and survived! Nia:wen.

  3. This monument or museum is not for those who suffered but for those children and future generations of those who survived. They should and have a right to know what their ancestors went through and what the the white man is capable of. Burying that history serves THEM. It absolves THEM. I don’t want an apology. Let this be a scar on THEM; a stain on THEM. We have nothing to be ashamed of. In spite of the scars our loved ones bore and the historical trauma we still carry from the crimes against humanity, we proved them wrong. The “Final Solution” of the American and Canadian “Nazis” FAILED. We are still here. And while we struggle with identity and autonomy, we won’t stop defending our sovereignty.

  4. Make it a Holocaust Museum. Make them all stand as a reminder to THEIR atrocities and OUR toughness and survivability. Gut the insides to erase our pain but let the building be a monument to their shame. And make THEM pay for it!

  5. Hello, my name is Melissa VanEvery, I am a 26 year old Mohawk, Turtle Clan from here in SixNations/Brantford, Ontario. My grandmother is a Residential School survivor, along with her 6 sisters. Growing up learning, hearing and being told of this horrible place, I would immediately say to tear the place down in a hot minute! But, as I got older and curious, so naturally, I went and learned about this place, and doing this I crossed paths with and had the honour of purchasing a used big green hardcover book titled ‘The Mush Hole’ and it lists ALL of the students ever in the school by name and the years they came and left. I actually had the amazing honour of showing, sharing and reminising with Vera Styres over the pages of this amazing book! :) But as I got older I found I had a very different view on The Residential School topic. With having the pleasure of talking in person with a few survivors so far, I’ve found that the same applies here,, the older ages were more, ‘at peace’ and (for lack of a better word) ‘proud’ to have made it out of that horrible place, and somewhat gave them strength. And these people would probably actually be the first ones to walk thru those doors again, with a high-held (and now civil) head and maybe at the end, would and could only make them stronger for it. And I also feel that maybe Canada itself should maybe be having a say too? because I feel that this is a somewhat huge heritage moment here in the country!?!?! 10,000 voices are louder and cause more attention then 1. * United We Stand, Divided We Fall *

    *Melissa VanEvery*
    Saturday, Sept 28, 2013

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