BRANTFORD: Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities; Will Bouma, Parliamentary Assistant to Ontario’s Minister of Finance and Member of Provincial Parliament for Brantford–Brant on behalf of Kinga Surma, Ontario’s Minister of Infrastructure; and Janis Monture, Executive Director of the Woodland Cultural Centre have announced funding for phase three of the Save the Evidence project, for the Woodland Cultural Centre.
The Government of Canada is investing over $7.6 million in this project through the Community, Culture and Recreation Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada plan.
The Government of Ontario is providing more than $1.8 million, while the Woodland Cultural Centre is contributing $378,437.
The project involves restoring the building’s masonry, restoring and replacing over 100 windows, upgrading the HVAC system, and finishing interior restorations including door frames, flooring, baseboards, and fireplaces.
Improvements also include accessibility upgrades such as the addition of a barrier-free main entrance, an elevator, and accessible pathways around the building. The work will allow the Woodland Cultural Centre to restore the Mohawk Institute Residential School site, allowing it to open as a national historical cultural site for public education and healing.
All orders of government continue to work together for the people of Ontario to make strategic infrastructure investments in communities across the province when needed most.
• Through the Investing in Canada plan, the federal government is investing more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada’s many rural and northern communities.
• Across Ontario, the Government of Canada has invested more than $14.2 billion in over 3,880 infrastructure projects.
• Across Canada, since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic the Government of Canada has contributed $9.7 billion to 3,500 infrastructure projects.
• Ontario is investing $10.2 billion under the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program to improve public transit; community, culture and recreation; green, and rural and northern community and other priority infrastructure.
• Across the province and over the next 10 years, Ontario is investing approximately $320 million and Canada is investing approximately $407 million under the Community, Culture and Recreation Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program.
Catherine McKenna said: “Across the country, Indigenous communities and Canadians are mourning as more unmarked graves are located at the sites of former Residential Schools. Ensuring Canadians have a space where they can learn and acknowledge the past is an important step in reconciliation.
“Today’s announcement for the third phase of the Save the Evidence project at the Woodland Cultural Centre, will help rehabilitate the Mohawk Institute Residential School site in Six Nations of the Grand River, and allow for healing and the preservation of a past that should not be forgotten.
“In partnership with Indigenous peoples, provinces and territories, we continue our work to advance reconciliation and ensure Indigenous communities have the tools needed to succeed and ensure the well-being of their people,” she said.
Pam Damoff, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indigenous Services and Member of Parliament for Oakville North–Burlington, added: “The restoration of the Mohawk Institute Residential School will provide current and future generations a space to heal and to share the truth of residential schools.
“I want to extend my sincere gratitude to all those involved in the Woodland Cultural Centre for sharing stories, art, language and cultural knowledge of Six Nations of the Grand River, Wahta Mohawks, and Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte, as we continue on the path to reconciliation.”