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The Government of Canada supports the Woodland Cultural Centre in Brantford

July 3, 2024

NationTalk: Canadian Heritage – Today, Lisa Hepfner, Member of Parliament (Hamilton Mountain), on behalf of the Honourable Pascale St-Onge, Minister of Canadian Heritage, announced funding of more than $1.4 million for the Woodland Cultural Centre in Brantford.

The funding marks a significant investment in the cultural landscape of the region. It provides support through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund for the pivotal “Save the Evidence” project, the Canada Arts Presentation Fund to bolster the Centre’s performing arts initiatives, and the Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Program for a cultural showcase and workshop.

The Canada Cultural Spaces Fund will specifically support the last stage of the Centre’s “Save the Evidence” project at the former Mohawk Institute Residential School. This phase will see the completion of exhibits within the school, transforming it into a living testament and national site of conscience, accurately portraying the experiences of its survivors and victims.

The Canada Arts Presentation Fund will provide $75,000 over three years (2024–2027) for the Centre’s “Gonahdoge.he.gye – She Is Growing” performance series.

The Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Program supported the Centre’s presentation of “Dwade?’nyota’ Dwaga:’sho?:’o?h – We Celebrate Our Stories,” a hybrid cultural showcase and workshop that celebrated the Summer Solstice.

Quotes

“Our government understands that sharing the legacy of residential schools is at the heart of reconciliation. By supporting projects like the Woodland Cultural Centre’s ‘Save the Evidence,’ we hope to honour the experiences of Indigenous peoples, their families, and communities. Together, we can shed light on this dark chapter, fostering healing and understanding for everyone.”

—The Honourable Pascale St-Onge, Minister of Canadian Heritage

“Woodland Cultural Centre is undertaking work that is challenging and imperative, so that Canadians can understand the truth of what happened at residential schools and its lasting legacy. I am honoured and humbled to represent our government in supporting this work, as understanding the truth is first step on the path to reconciliation.”

—Lisa Hepfner, Member of Parliament (Hamilton Mountain)

“Woodland Cultural Centre is grateful to the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund and the Canadian federal government for their generous support of our work to share the history of the Mohawk Institute and the stories of Residential School Survivors; this truly is an act of reconciliation.”

—Heather George, Executive Director, Woodland Cultural Centre

Quick facts

  • The Canada Cultural Spaces Fund supports the improvement of physical conditions for arts, heritage, culture and creative innovation. The Fund supports renovation and construction projects, the acquisition of specialized equipment and feasibility studies related to cultural spaces.
  • The Canada Arts Presentation Fund provides financial assistance to organizations that professionally present arts festivals or performing arts series (arts presenters) and organizations that offer support to arts presenters.
  • The Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Program, through its Events component, provides funding to promote intercultural or interfaith understanding; discussions on multiculturalism, diversity, racism and religious discrimination; and to celebrate a community’s history and culture.
  • The Woodland Cultural Centre (The Centre) encompasses two main buildings: a museum and art gallery, and the former Mohawk Institute Residential School, which was the first residential school in Canada. The building has since been used to hold offices, a library and a Language Education Centre. Around 20,000 visitors a year have taken in tours and attended programming, workshops and exhibitions at the Centre’s two buildings.
  • The residential school program operated at the Centre from 1828 to 1970. By 1972, the Woodland Cultural Centre was founded, and work began to establish research and collections, ensuring that evidence was saved, and victims and survivors were honoured.

Associated links

Contacts
For more information (media only), please contact:

Ariane Joazard-Bélizaire
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage
ariane.joazard-belizaire@pch.gc.ca

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage
1-819-994-9101
1-866-569-6155
media@pch.gc.ca