Healing & Reconciliation Through Education



This project was conceived to unfold in tandem with the rehabilitation and rededication of the Shingwauk Hall auditorium to the Children of Shingwauk Alumni Association, and the creation of an institutional art plan. Its intention is to employ museum-quality exhibitions to share and honour the story of Survivors, and to thereby effect the transformation of colonized space to one of healing and reconciliation. Consistent with the objectives of the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre, this project will ‘research, collect, preserve and display the history of the Residential Schools’; develop and deliver projects of ‘sharing, healing and learning’ in relation to the impacts of the Schools, and of individual and community cultural restoration; and accomplish the true realization of Chief Shingwauk’s Vision’.

The Shingwauk School, or “Teaching Wigwam”, was originally envisaged by the great Ojibway Chief Shingwaukonse (1773-1854), also known as Shingwauk, as a crucible for cross-cultural understanding and for synthesis of traditional Anishnabek and modern European knowledge and learning systems. Commissioned in 1832 in co-operation with Canadian Government and Anglican Church partners as part of St. John’s Mission to the Ojibway, the Shingwauk School was opened in Sault Ste. Marie in 1833. It relocated to Garden River (1838-74), and to the current site as the Shingwauk and Wawanosh Industrial Homes (Shingwauk 1874-1935 and Wawanosh 1876/96-1935) and the Shingwauk Indian Residential School (1935-70). As part of Chief Shingwauk’s new strategy of Aboriginal rights, self determination and modern community development, the School’s cross-cultural educational project was also regarded as essential to the restoration of cosmological balance and of social harmony between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians, and between both Peoples and the natural environment. (cited from Shingwauk.org 2015)

Partners & Contributors: 



The Reclaiming Shingwauk Hall project began in 2012 with the iterative design process beginning in 2013.  Funding for this community engaged work has come from multiple sources including:

  • The Aboriginal Healing Foundation (2012-2014)
  • The SSHRC-funded Creative Conciliations project (2013-2018)
  • Heritage Canada, Museum Assistance Program (2014-2016, 2016-2018, 2018-2019).