The Mush Hole
April 19, 2022 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
The Mohawk Institute a.k.a. The Mush Hole
The Mohawk Institute was 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. For 142 years, the modus operandi of the school was to forcefully assimilate children into Euro-Christian society and sever the continuity of culture from parent to child.
About the Show
“The Mush Hole reflects the realities of the Mohawk Institute Residential School experience and offers a way to open dialogue and to heal through acknowledging and honouring the spirit of survivors and families impacted. Moving through the devastation of residential school with grace and hope, the performance opens a small window into the atrocities inflicted on thousands of Indigenous children. and attempts to close the door on historical amnesia.
A haunting portrayal weaves through memories of survivors, reliving traumas, school life, loss of culture, remembrance and returning to find each other. The residential school legacy and ongoing institutionalized erasure of Indigenous lives and culture is an issue that affects all Canadians. Through specificity we find universality.
The Mush Hole is a story about hope and finding light in dark places. As much as it speaks to intergenerational trauma, it screams resilience. Every single element represented on stage comes from survivors generously sharing their experience with us. After years of silence Mohawk Institute survivors are courageously moving past shame and sharing their story. The Mush Hole is their truth on stage.”
-Santee Smith, Founder, Kaha:wi Dance Theatre,
Kahnyen’kehàka (Mohawk) Nation, Turtle Clan, Tekaronhiáhkhwa