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.”
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 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 is a work in progress as we continue to document the school’s impact on Indigenous communities.
1. Aamjiwnaang First Nation
2. Beausoleil First Nation
3. Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point First Nation
4. Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation
5. Chippewas of Rama First Nation
6. Cree First Nation of Waswanapi
7. Cree Nation of Chisasibi
8. Delaware Nation of Moraviantown
9. Deshkan Ziibiing Chippewa of the Thames First Nation
10. Fort Severn First Nation
11. Hiawatha First Nation
12. Kasabonika First Nation
13. Mishkeegogamang First Nation
14. Mississauga of the Credit First Nation
15. Mohawk Nation of Akwesasne
16. Mohawks of Kahnawá:ke
17. Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte / Tyendinaga
18. Muncee-Delaware Nation
19. Oneida Nation of the Thames
20. Saugeen First Nation
21. Six Nations of the Grand River
22. Wahta Mohawks