Why Build A Memorial Park

The Mohawk Village Memorial Park is an initiative of residential school survivors. The devastating effects of Residential Schools continues to impact those of us who lived in institutional care as children. Too many of us struggle and journey to regain some sense of balance and harmony in life, particularly in relationships, parenting and spirituality. The effects are also felt and endured by our families.

Since the Truth and Reconciliation Commission emerged, we survivors recognize we have a voice. We try to help each other as we begin to move forward in life in a good way and with a healthy mind. We cannot undo the horrendous impact of Residential Schools, but we need to be ever vigilant so that history doesn’t repeat itself.

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For Healing And Reconciliation

To move forward today, we are planning to build a Memorial Park. We believe the “Mohawk Village Park” will reflect the importance of honoring the memory of the children that attended the Mohawk Institute and every child that attended a residential school or died in care.

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Remembering The Children

Young attendees at Indian Residential Schools were deprived of the learning experiences and teachings that were normally led by parents and elders in the safety, security and loving environment of clan life.

As those knowledgeable in the area of the Indian Residential School system are aware, the majority of Indigenous children who attended Indian Residential Schools were forced to attend such schools against the wishes of their parents or their communities.

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Voices

Doug George-Kanentiio: Bad Residential School Memories, October 27, 2011

I was a student at the Mohawk Institute (a.k.a. the “Mushhole” for its unique brand of watery porridge) in Brantford, Ontario from January, 1967 to June, 1968 when I, along with a large group of Akwesasne Mohawks, were informed we would no longer be welcome to one of Canada’s most notorious residential schools. Our rebellious …

Please Donate

Please visit our GoFundMe page to make a donation!

https://www.gofundme.com/mohawk-village-memorial-park

Your contribution would be greatly appreciated and will go a long way towards easing the inter-generational suffering of Survivors and their families.

Create Positive Experiences for Indigenous Children

The mistreatment of innocent Indigenous children who attended Indian Residential Schools in Canada is well documented. Those experiences caused impacts that have been endured by Survivors, their children, grandchildren and whole communities of Inuit, Metis and First Nations peoples for generations.

The Mohawk Institute was the first residential school in Canada and the longest running residential school (1831 – 1970). It was built on the site of the original Mohawk Village.

Hi, Shé:kon, Aniin, Boozhoo. My name is Roberta Hill and I am the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Mohawk Village Memorial Park – a registered Charity. Our organization has been established to build the Park on the grounds of the longest operating Indian residential school in Canada – the Mohawk Institute.

I am also an Indian Residential School Survivor. One way to address what has happened to us is to establish a Memorial Park dedicated to all Survivors and their extended families.

Request for Financial Assistance

The Mohawk Village Memorial Park is looking for donations to develop the Children’s Play Area of the Park to address the negative intergenerational impacts of Residential Schools. Our goal is to make a beautiful outdoor play area where children can form positive experiences and happy memories. This Park is where all children, especially the children who are descendants of Survivors, can play in the company of their parents and grandparents without being separated from their families – as the Survivors were separated from theirs.

“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken adults.”   ~ F. Douglas

Park Construction

The Park will be located at 184 Mohawk Street, Brantford, Ontario, on five acres of land beside the former Mohawk Institute Indian Residential School building, all of which is Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. The construction of the Mohawk Village Memorial Park is currently in progress. The Site Preparation phase and the Archaeological Dig stage are currently being completed.

Of all the former residential school locations, the Mohawk Institute is situated nearest to the largest population centre in Canada, the Greater Toronto Area. Hence, the park will be accessible to Survivors and for millions of people.

Park Purposes

The purposes of the Mohawk Village Memorial Park are the following:

– To provide a place of remembrance where the human dignity of each of the thousands of Survivors of Indian Residential Schools may be recognized and honoured;

– To assist in the healing of the generational impacts of abuse and trauma for the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Indian Residential School Survivors, as well as the Survivors – which are commonly referred to as the “inter-generational effects”;

– To provide a park place where children can play in the presence of their families and have loving experiences and form happy memories – especially for those affected by Indian residential schools on the grounds where so many traumatizing memories were formed in children in the past;

– To provide a place where ceremonies, cultural teachings and family nurturing can take place in order to restore and reconcile some of what was lost by the Survivors.

– To establish a place where the memories of the traumas and negative experiences endured by the Survivors may be revisited as part of a process of rejuvenation and strengthening (in a manner that is individual and appropriate for each Survivor);

– To provide a tranquil place for healing where the personal stories of Survivors and their families may be told;

– To provide a place of reconciliation for all Canadians who deplore the past abuses of child attendees at Indian Residential Schools.

Use of GoFundMe Donations

The specific items we are asking you to help fund are the following:

Toddler Area

–          3’ high double hill slide

–          12’ tube tunnel

–          6’ musical fence panes

–          Shallow rock steps or rock climb

–          Boulders flanking steps and areas for edible planting

Lookout and Music Den

–          Log Transfer Station

–          Stairs with covered landing

–          Spiral Wood Look slide

–          Viewing Bubble

–          Periscopes (mounting at different heights)

–          Activity Panel

–          Talk Tube through Deck Floor

–          Log Climber/Hanging Bar

–          Challenging Climber

–          Wind Chimes

–          Thunder/Sheet Drum

–          Drums in log wall

–          Log Palisade Retaining Wall: various lengths

–          Log Post Doorway

–          Log Beam Caps

Log Maze Fort

–          Toddler Log Tunnel

–          Various Lengths and types of logs/branched

Free Standing Items

–          Sound Tubes mounted at different heights

–          Log Benches Concrete or Real wood

–          Play Structures acorn seats

–          Sanding Digger (wheelchair accessible)

–          Log Stepping Stones

–          Sensory/Activity Wall

–          Tree Stump and Fallen Branch Sign Post/Fairy Tale Garden/Toy Car Village

–          Climbing Rocks

Other Play Areas

–          22” Long Swing set with variety of seats

–          Nest Swing or Play Structures

–          Fallen Tree Climber

–          Log balance beams

–          Log and Brush Piles onsite

–          Installation

Site Amenities

–          Concrete Half Benches for Fire-pit

–          Half Log Benches with Arm Rests

–          Dumor Picnic Table 75-60D

–          Recycling Stations

–          Garbage Bins with Cigarette Disposal

–          Dog Waste Bins

–          Locking Fold Down Security bollard

–          Flag Pole

–          Branch Railing on Wheelchair Ramps (320 lin. Ft)

–          Branch Railing on Bridge

Supply & Installation Total Cost (all the above)           $744,894.15

Impacts of Residential School Experiences

Below is a quote on the impacts of residential school experiences from the website of the Manitoba Trauma Information and Education Centre:

“The impacts of the residential school experience are intergenerational – passed on from generation to generation. Parents who were forced to send their children to the schools had to deal with the devastating effects of separation and total lack of input in the care and welfare of their children. Many of the children suffered abuse atrocities from the staff that were compounded by a curriculum that stripped them of their native languages and culture. This caused additional feelings of alienation, shame and anger that were passed down to their children and grandchildren.

 The effects of trauma tend to ripple outward from those affected by trauma to those who surround them, and among residential school survivors, the consequences of emotional, physical and sexual abuse continue to be felt in each subsequent generation. Deep, traumatic wounds exist in the lives of many Aboriginal people who were taught to be ashamed just because they were Aboriginal.”

Please read the entire article at the following link:

http://trauma-informed.ca/trauma-and-first-nations-people/residential-schools/

Thank you for Contributing

As a way to thank you for your help and acknowledge your contribution, we will post your name in the park as a contributor.

 Once you make a donation we will provide you with an official donation receipt.

 Niá:wen and Miigwech

Thank you