You may have noticed some recent media coverage about Orange Shirt Day. Orange Shirt Day is recognized annually on September 30 and serves to commemorate the residential school experience, witness and honour the healing journey of residential school Survivors and their families, and commit to the ongoing process of reconciliation. Orange Shirt Day has become a National Campaign to raise awareness and provide education about Residential Schools in Canada.
In 2019, Woodland Cultural Centre invited over 400 guests to their Survivors Gathering at the former Mohawk Institute Residential School, and over 150 students visited the Centre for an educational experience on Orange Shirt Day. This year, Orange Shirt Day events were held virtually over Zoom and included a virtual tour of the Mohawk Institute Residential School, Survivor Speaker Testimonials, Q&A session, and more. This year, Woodland Cultural Centre welcomed over 1,500 students virtually from all over Canada, as far West as Saskatchewan. The feedback received from students and teachers was amazing, and confirms the importance for events like this.
The Mohawk Institute Residential School is currently undergoing construction and renovations, and in the interim, Woodland Cultural Centre is offering a Mohawk Institute Residential School Virtual Tour for grades 6 and up. Join Lorrie Gallant on a virtual tour of the former Mohawk Institute Indian Residential School which includes an overview of the institution throughout its 140 year history. Viewers will get to see the different rooms in the school including the girls’ and boys’ dormitories, the cafeteria, laundry room, and other rooms throughout the building, as well as hear interviews from five Survivors of the former Mohawk Institute. The virtual tour is shown exclusively on the grounds of Woodland Cultural Centre.
Woodland Cultural Centre's Save the Evidence Campaign is an international fundraising initiative to preserve and restore one of the last standing Residential Schools in Canada. This campaign aims to raise awareness and support for the restoration of the former Mohawk Institute Residential School, and to develop the building into an Interpreted Historic Site and Educational Resource. As a site of conscience, the final goal is to create a fully-realized Interpretive Centre that will be the definitive destination for information about the history of Residential Schools in Canada, the experiences of Survivors of the schools, and the impact that the Residential School system has had on our communities.
Even though Orange Shirt Day has passed, you can still visit the Save the Evidence Shop Online and order your ‘Every Child Matters’ or ‘Save the Evidence’ t-shirts in support of Woodland Cultural Centre’s Save the Evidence campaign. If you prefer, you can also opt to make a donation straight to the campaign.