Sep 15 - Oct 20, 2021 Lake of the woods museum

Bakaan nake’ii ngii-izhi-gakinoo’amaagoomin / We Were Taught Differently: The Indian Residential School Experience

This award-winning exhibit originally opened at the Lake of the Woods Museum in 2008 and is on display again from September 15 – October 20. The exhibit will allow visitors to learn about the Indian Residential School system with a particular focus on the two schools located in Kenora – Cecilia Jeffrey and St. Mary’s. Powerful images, text, archival material, and personal recollections combine to tell this story.

This exhibit examines the Indian residential school experience, most particularly in the two schools that were located in Kenora, Ontario – Cecilia Jeffrey and St. Mary’s. It also includes mention of all six schools in Treaty #3, as many local residents were sent to schools outside the immediate Kenora area. The exhibit is reflective of the residential school experience across Canada, nation-wide.

Powerful images, text, video, archival material and personal recollections combine to tell the story of the residential school experience. Visitors will learn why residential schools were established, what life in the schools was like, the legacy of the schools, the recent settlement agreement, and Government and church apologies.

The primary objectives of this exhibit are to acknowledge this part of our history; to promote awareness about the residential schools and the long-term effect they had on the First Nations people; and to honour those whose lives have been touched by the schools. It is an exhibit for everyone.

If you would like more information on the Indian Residential School system, the following links will provide you with videos interviews and two documentaries:

  • The Legacy of Hope website includes a number of video interviews and documentaries
  • Muffins for Granny is a documentary created by Nadia McLaren, a filmmaker from Sioux Lookout, Ontario
  • The Secret Path by Gord Downie shares the story of Chanie Wenjack who ran away from Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School in Kenora. He died alongside the train tracks on his way to his home community:

NOTE: These links contain subject matter that may be disturbing to some visitors, particularly to survivors of the residential school system. Please call the Indian Residential School crisis line at 1-866-925-4419 if you or someone you know is triggered by any of the content.

Did you know?

The Sultana Gold Mine was the largest of the mines on the Lake of the Woods, and between 1890 and 1906 produced over $1million dollars in gold.

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