St.Paul's visits the Woodland Cultural Centre

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Woodland Cultural Museum

On July 24th, St. Paul’s staff and faculty visited the Woodland Cultural Centre in Brantford. The visit served to launch a new professional development initiative aimed at improving all employees’ understanding of subjects central to the College mission.  These subjects include Indigenization, social entrepreneurship, student well-being, international development, human rights and refugee issues.

Woodland CulturalThe St. Paul’s employees began their morning with a guided tour of the exhibits housed at the Woodland Cultural Centre.  The tour started with an introduction to the Haudenosaunee peoples and their pre-contact life and worked through European contact and its consequences.  College staff were able to view rare artifacts and to hear about personal experiences.

The tour concluded with a video about the experiences of the children who were at the residential school next door, which closed in 1970.  It is currently undergoing renovations so that it will be available for public visits as of next year. The video provided a vivid picture of the living conditions in the school, especially as recounted by some of its survivors.

After the visit, some staff shared their insights.

Woodland Cultural“I was in disbelief – saddened and overwhelmed by the mistreatment of students in the residential schools.  This is something that is not talked about, and not well known in Canada. Canadians need to be better educated about it” said Grace of GreenHouse.

“I learned so much at Woodland, which made me think that my educational experience did not do Indigenous people justice. This experience piqued my interest in Indigenous education and I hope to learn more as I progress in my new role at St. Paul’s” said Landon of Advancement and Alumni Relations.

After the tour finished, College staff gathered for a late lunch in Paris to reflect on what they had seen and heard.  All agreed that the insights they had gleaned were invaluable.

“This was a great start to our professional development series” said Principal Rick Myers.  “I think the staff are really going to get a lot of this.”

Woodland Cultural TruckGreenHouse will hold the next session, an Ecosystem tour on September 20th. Staff will be exposed to different social innovation ecosystems within the region and how it can generate social or environmental change. 

For more information about the Woodland Cultural Centre, please visit:

http://woodlandculturalcentre.ca/

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