immortal summer | every child matters
Last summer, we stopped in at the residential school attended by my partner’s great grandfather. These words were scribbled on some brick inside the school; a painful truth left behind by a child:
“In the midst of the winter, may we find within ourselves, an immortal summer.”
The former Mohawk Institute Indian Residential School stands at the end of a long, tree-lined driveway. Founded in 1828, it was a place where Indigenous children were separated from their families and stripped of their heritage. Many of the children were physically, sexually, and psychologically abused by teachers and staff. In 1970, after 142 years, the school was closed and turned over to the Mohawk community. The old school building became a powerful place of engagement with the concrete reality and painful legacy of residential schools in Canada. Four years ago, a severe flood damaged the building, and the community was faced with a decision: renovate the old school, or tear it down?
By an overwhelming majority, the community voted to renovate and restore it. To honour those who attended. And to ensure this history never repeats itself.
Every Child Matters.