Mush Hole Project and Integrating Knowledges Summit: Youth Truth and Reconciliation Workshop


Six Nations Elected Chief Counsel Ava Hill reminds us of the importance for mainstream Canada to understand the history of residential schools and the implications: “They need to understand what happened to our people by the government of the day. It is to blame for many of the social problems still being experienced today” (Ruby, 2014). Before we approach the complex meanings embedded in the language of “reconciliation” and “truth,” we must first address the societal challenges that emerged from the residential school system and the impact to educational paradigms and youth. The objective of the Mush Hole Project & Integrating Knowledges Youth Workshop is to create and encourage opportunities for Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth to meet and to share their lived experiences by opening channels of communication, facilitating intercultural spaces of learning, and acknowledge different historical contexts and knowledges in order to develop and sustain deeper understanding and relationships.

Workshop summary

Students from Six Nations Polytechnic and Assumption College students in Brantford with facilitators from both communities will be the working group to experience, as participants, the Mush Hole Project site-specific installation. The students’ involvement promises to begin their conversation, acknowledge historical contexts, address contemporary challenges, and surface questions about the meaning of  “truth” and “reconciliation” experienced by each individual student. After the attending the Mush Hole Project, the 12 students (6 from Six Nations of the Grand and 6 from Assumption College) will meet to discuss and share their experiences. They will be encouraged to produce creative articulations together or as individuals. The students will then convene as delegates at a pre-Summit orientation (Thursday, October 13, 2016). They will be joined by up to 40 students from the Waterloo Region School Board to share and continue the workshop process in planned activities (see schedule). The following day, they will attend and participate in the Summit events (Friday, October 14, 2016) and will communicate the workshop process at a Circle discussion and be involved with a seminar session. Detailed programming follows. Parents, guardians, relatives, relations and teachers of students are encouraged to attend the Mush Hole Project and Integrating Knowledges events with the students.

Funding for the Mush Hole Project & Integrating Knowledges Youth Workshop is provided by Ontario Arts Council, University of Waterloo – Bob Harding Humanities and Social Sciences Award, SSHRC Connection grant, and our many collaborative organizations and individuals.