Recovery, Reclamation and Revitalization
Supported by Haudenosaunee Law and Legal Principles
Respect for Nationhood and Nation to Nation Diplomacy
The Secretariat has appointed an Indigenous Human Rights Monitor and several Cultural Monitors to oversee the Police Task Force* in their search for the unmarked burials of Indigenous children on over 600 acres of land associated with the Mohawk Institute.
Thousands of children were taken to Indian Residential Schools, including the Mohawk Institute. The Secretariat will create opportunities for Survivors and intergenerational Survivors to share their statements to inform the truth in a culturally safe and trauma-informed way.
Research and Documentation
Community Accountability and Advocacy
The Secretariat will report to Survivors, leaders and community members on an ongoing basis and liaises with impacted First Nations by facilitating Nation to Nation dialogues.
Who We Are
The work of the Survivors’ Secretariat is guided directly by Survivors and is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of seven Survivors of the Mohawk Institute with the support and assistance of these administrators and experts.
Board of Directors
Robert (Bob) Sutherland
Anthony (Tony) Bomberry
Alt: John Elliott
Administrators and Experts
Dr. Beverly Jacobs
The Survivors’ Secretariat welcomed the Community and invited guests to a Year in Review open house which included the introduction of Laura Arndt as the Secretariat Lead, “I am honoured and humbled to join the Survivors’ Secretariat and lead the work of truth finding into what happened at the Mohawk Institute.”
On August 31, 2022, the Survivors’ Secretariat opened its doors to the community to provide a Year in Review. “We’re pleased with the outcome of
What was the Mohawk Institute?
The Mohawk Institute was an Indian Residential School located in Brantford, Ontario. It was run by the Anglican Church of Canada and the Government of Canada from 1828 to 1970, making it the longest operating residential school in Canada. Between 90 and 200 children were forced to attend the school each year. These children were taken from Six Nations and many other First Nations.
The Mohawk Institute was part of Canada’s national Indian residential school system, which was designed to prevent Indigenous parents from passing on their culture, language, practices and beliefs to their children. Instead, the system worked to assimilate the children into the settlers’ white Christian culture. Attendance was mandatory and children were taken from their families, punished for speaking their own language, and forced to adopt Christian beliefs. The food at the Mohawk Institute was so bad that students called it the “Mush Hole.” Many children experienced physical, sexual, emotional and spiritual abuse at residential schools, including the Mohawk Institute. An untold number of children died and the location of their burials is unknown.
The Mohawk Institute took children from Six Nations as well as from many other First Nation communities. The Survivors’ Secretariat was created for all Survivors across the country who attended the Mohawk Institute, and for all Six Nations residential school Survivors who may have attended other residential schools in Canada.
The map below will continue to be updated with new information as we continue to document the school’s impact on Indigenous communities.
The data we have collected involves stories of Survivors who were taken from their communities and forced to attend the Mohawk Institute. As children, these Survivors were placed on unfamiliar modes of transportation, such as trains and planes, and taken to residential schools across the country. These Survivors were often alone, and reported not being able to say good-bye to their families before leaving their communities.
The Survivors’ Secretariat continues to collect data and records on the number of children who attended the Mohawk Institute. Based on the records the Survivors’ Secretariat has collected so far, it is indicated that there are many undetermined communities where children were taken from. At this time, it is unknown as to how many children attended the Mohawk Institute during its time of operation, as well as which community they came from.
total Number CHILDREN Taken
Abitibiwinni First Nation
Alderville First Nation
Algonquins of Greater Golden Lake First Nation
Aamjiwnaang First Nation
Algonquins of Pikwàkanagàn First Nation
Aundeck Omni Kaning First Nation
Beausoleil First Nation
Brunswick House First Nation
Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point First Nation
Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation
Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation
Chippewas of Rama First Nation
Chippewas of the Thames First Nation
Cree First Nations of James Bay
Cree First Nation of Waswanapi
Cree Nation of Chisasibi
Cree Nation of Eastmain
Cree Nation Of Mistissini
Cree Nation of Nemaska
Cree Nation of Waskaganish
Cree First Nation Of Waswanipi
Curve Lake First Nation
Deer Lake First Nation
Delaware Nation of Moraviantown
Deshkan Ziibiing Chippewa of the Thames First Nation
Eabametoong First Nation
Fort Severn First Nation
Fort William First Nation
Hiawatha First Nation
Kasabonika First Nation
Long Lake #58 First Nation
Kiashke Zaaging Anishinaabek / Gull Bay First Nation
Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation
Mishkeegogamang First Nation
Mississaugas Of Scugog Island
Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation
Mohawk Nation of Akwesasne
Mohawks of Kahnawá:ke
Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte / Tyendinaga
Moose Cree First Nation
Niisaachewan Anishinaabe Nation
Northwest Angle #33 First Nation
Oneida Nation of the Thames
Saddle Lake Cree Nation
Sagamok Anishnawbek First Nation
Saugeen First Nation
Six Nations of the Grand River
St Regis Mohawk Tribe
Sucker Creek First Nation
Tuscarora First Nation
Ungava Bay First Nation
Wabaseemoong Independent Nation
Walpole Island First Nation
Wasauksing First Nation
Wemindji Cree Nation
Wunnumin Lake First Nation
CHILDREN TAKEN UNKNOWN COMMUNITIES (No Community Identified)