BRANTFORD, ON – The City of Brantford honours and takes great pride in the history of Indigenous Peoples and supports efforts to advance truth and reconciliation and renew relationships based on recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership. To mark National Indigenous History Month, the City of Brantford has developed a number of programs and events including the Young Minds Book Club, a collection of children’s books that focus on diversity, inclusion and equity, Healthy Kids Programs with Six Nations of the Grand River Indigenous-led Early years and Onkwehonwe Games and a free evening of Indigenous Culture on Tuesday, July 5.
Additionally, today, together with representatives and members of the Survivors’ Secretariat, the City of Brantford was proud to unveil an Indigenous Peoples themed full bus wrap to acknowledge and honour Indigenous communities in our region. Survivors and family members of survivors of the Mohawk Institute Residential School were in attendance to be the first to see the fully wrapped bus and take part in its inaugural ride through the city.
The unique bus design was created by staff of the City of Brantford’s Communications and Community Engagement department with input from the Survivors’ Secretariat. It includes the words “Recover, Reclamation and Revitalization” as well as “Every Child Matters” to promote and highlight the important work of the Secretariat. Unveiled to coincide with Indigenous History Month, the bus will be in operation for the next 12 months.
The Survivors’ Secretariat was established in 2021 to organize and support the efforts to uncover, document and share the truth about what happened at the Mohawk Institute Residential School during its 136 years of operation. Learn more about their work and how to get involved by visiting www.survivorssecretariat.ca.
On May 17, 2022, Brantford City Council unanimously supported a resolution that calls on the federal and provincial governments, and the Anglican church to respectfully release to the Survivors’ Secretariat immediately, all documents in the possession of the Government of Canada or the Government of Ontario or the Anglican church related to the former Mohawk Institute Indian Residential School now located on Six Nations of the Grand River Territory, within the geographic boundaries of the City of Brantford. The resolution has been adopted by 14 other municipalities to date.
Recognizing this subject matter can be painful and traumatic to many, support services for survivors and intergenerational survivors are available by calling the Hope for Wellness Help Line at 1-855-242-3310 to access toll-free, 24/7 counselling and crisis intervention. The Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line (1-866-925-4419) is also available 24 hours a day for anyone experiencing pain or distress as a result of their residential school experience. Indigenous Victim Services at Six Nations can be reached at 1-866-964-5920 or after hours and weekends at 1-866-445-2204.
To learn more about the programs and services the City of Brantford is offering to recognize Indigenous History Month, please visit www.Brantford.ca/IndigenousHistoryMonth.