Woodland Cultural Centre embarks on fundraising campaign for museum renovation

After securing funds to renovate the former Mohawk Institute residential school, the Woodland Cultural Centre now wants to embark on a campaign to raise funds to renovate the museum and cultural interpretive centre adjacent to the old school.

The centre, along with countless partners and volunteers, had raised $23.5 million for the Mohawk Institute renovation over the past six years.

The next project will be the renovation of the museum, which will also require intensive fundraising efforts over a number of years, WCC Executive Director

Janis Monture told Six Nations of the Grand River Elected Council.

On the grounds are two buildings – the former Mohawk Institute dormitory building and the smaller building which hosts a museum and art gallery. That building used to house the classrooms and a gymnasium, built in 1954.

“The building is in dire need of other major repairs,” said Monture. “It was never really suited to be a museum and gallery and cultural centre; it was just retrofitted over the years. I think with all the attention that’s going to be on our site over the next few years,” she said, we wanted to highlight the resilience of our people and the revitalization of our culture.

The board of the new capital campaign includes former elected Chief Ava Hill, former Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, and musician Robbie Robertson, as honorary chair.

“It’s going to be several years before this would happen but we are looking for support for this to happen,” Monture told council.

The Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council has also been primed on the fundraising project.

Monture said having the former provincial premier on the fundraising board will assist with obtaining government grants and funding.

“Having Kathleen Wynne on our capital committee is really important because she has all the capital connections though the government, so she’s keeping her ear to the ground for what government funding we can access through this project,” said Monture. “The residential school commemoration fund is something we’re looking at.”

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