SIX NATIONS OF THE GRAND RIVER — The Survivors’ Secretariat has been working with the Joint Task Force to organize a complete search of the 500 acres of the lands associated with the former church-run, government-funded Indian Residential School, the Mohawk Institute. With the leadership of the Survivors, we have conducted a mapping exercise, reviewed archival records and are ready to commence phase one of the ground search.
The first phase of the search will focus on the lands where the Mohawk Institute building stands commencing on Tuesday November 9, 2021. Location Address: 184 Mohawk St, Brantford, ON N3S 2X2. Two Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) machines will be utilized to conduct numerous grid searches. Leading up to this search community members and Six Nation Police Service members have been trained on the operation of these machines and are being paired together to conduct the search. The grids are being laid out with the assistance of a Search Master from the Ontario Provincial Police.
All work is being monitored by the Survivors’ Secretariat’s Indigenous Human Rights Monitor, Dr. Beverly Jacobs, and the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe Cultural Monitors. Appropriate Ceremonies have been conducted and will continue to be conducted, as guided by the Cultural Monitors and the traditional knowledge/ceremonial people.
“This is heavy work that needs to be done. As Survivors we take comfort in knowing that this Sacred work is being done in a good way with our community members participation. We have been clear that the search must be Survivor-led and community-involved.”
— Sherlene Bomberry, Survivor.
Media is invited to a press conference beginning at 11AM ET on November 9, 2021 on the grounds of the former Mohawk Institute Residential School. Media will have the opportunity to attend the search site, and following strict protocols and from a distance, they will be given a short opportunity to film and photograph the search in progress. Media will also be able to schedule interviews with Survivors and Task Force members.
We remind Media that this is an ongoing police investigation and that rules are in place to ensure that no one encroaches on the search area or impedes the investigation in any way. There will be many people on site to assist and provide direction. We ask that everyone park on Mohawk Street and not on the grounds of the Mohawk Institute. Barriers and Security will be on site to ensure compliance. We ask that Media register with either Marylou Mintram or Katie Montour to confirm attendance.
Speakers at the Press Conference:
Dawn Hill – Residential School Survivor
Chief Mark B. Hill – Six Nations of the Grand River Elected Council
Kimberly R. Murray – Executive Lead, Survivors’ Secretariat
Chief Darren Montour – Chief for Six Nations Police
Several Mohawk Institute Survivors will be on site and available for media interviews.
The Survivors’ Secretariat is a Survivor-led initiative established in 2021. The Secretariat coordinates protocols and processes associated with death investigations and facilitates the gathering of community and Survivor statements as they work to document and share the truth about what happened at the Mohawk Institute during its 136 years of operation. The Police Task Force was created in 2021 to investigate the deaths of children who died while attending the Mohawk Institute; its work is overseen by the Survivors’ Secretariat.