Statement on search for remains at former Mohawk Institute in Brantford
On behalf of HWDSB, we express solidarity and offer our support to those most affected by the search for remains at the site of the former Mohawk Institute Residential School.
We will lower all HWDSB flags until sunset on Friday, October 29.
As you may know, residential school survivors are leading a search using ground-penetrating radar at the former Mohawk Institute Residential School in Brantford, Ont., one of Canada’s oldest and longest running residential schools.
It follows the discovery of hundreds of potential burial sites from Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation’s preliminary search in Kamloops, BC. Unmarked graves have also been recently found at many other former residential school sites.
The Brantford search may take more than a year to cover the entire property. It is being closely watched by the 20 First Nations communities whose children were abducted and abused at the site.
It will no doubt confirm what many Indigenous families already knew: Canadian residential schools were sites of cruelty and genocide, and this reality was denied by settler-led institutions for generations.
At HWDSB, we must recognize the harm this created and perpetuates. We must ensure that all Indigenous students and staff feel like they belong, and that their identities are valued, recognized and affirmed in our schools and workplaces.
Please see supports below.
Dawn Danko, Chair of the Board
Manny Figueiredo, Director of Education
- National Indian Residential School Crisis Line is available 24 hours a day at 1-866-925-4419.
- National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation
- The Missing Children Project
- Tips for adults supporting children and youth after distressing events
- Mental health and well-being supports: www.hwdsb.on.ca/wehelp