The Mush Hole reflects the realities of the Mohawk Institute residential school experience and offers a way to open dialogue and to heal, through acknowledgement and honouring the spirit of Survivors and families that were impacted. The Mush Hole moves through the devastation of residential school with grace and hope for transformation and release. Opening a small window into the atrocities inflicted on 1000’s of Indigenous children, it attempts to close the door on historical amnesia. A haunting portrayal, weaves through memories of Survivors, reliving traumas, school life, loss of culture, remembrance, returning to find each other and lifting off of shame.
The Mohawk Institute is the oldest residential school in Canada, after which all others were modelled. Operated in Brantford, Ontario from 1828 to 1970, it served as an Industrial boarding school for First Nations children from Six Nations, as well as other communities throughout Ontario and Quebec. It served as a key tool in the effort to assimilate First Nations children into European Christian society, and sever the continuity of culture from parent to child, leaving a legacy of trauma. After closing in 1970, it reopened in 1972 as the Woodland Cultural Centre.