June 21, 2017 – September 4, 2017
Walking Together is a Woodland Cultural Centre project funded by Canada Council for the Arts, Community Collaborations Program.
Walking Together is an intergenerational community arts project that brought together First Nations artists, Elders, Residential School Survivors and Youth to create mixed media art pieces.
This project brought eleven First Nations students from Pauline Johnson Collegiate and Vocational School in Brantford together with former students of the Mohawk Institute residential school. This intergenerational community arts project was intended to remind the youth of an important part of our First Nations history and Canada’s history as well.
Students participated in workshops on the history of residential schools in Canada, information gathering, interview skills and the art of digital photography to tell a story. They then visited the Woodland Cultural Centre, formerly the Mohawk Institute, for a tour guided by residential school survivors. Students walked side-by-side with survivors, listening to their stories and capturing their image. The day ended with questions and answers where the students discovered the pain and sadness didn’t end when the survivors got to go home. They took it when them and have spent their whole lives carrying this heartbreaking legacy.
The students returned to the classroom with a new understanding to what the survivors had suffered and how it still affects our community today. They learned the art of mixed media using encaustic to express their experience and honour the survivors. These eleven young people walked together with residential school survivors, they were inspired by their courage and gained a new appreciation of their own freedom to speak their language, celebrate their culture and enjoy life.