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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

Recounting Huronia

Background: In operation from 1876 until 2009, the Huronia Regional Centre of Orillia Ontario was the oldest and largest facility in Canada to house persons with intellectual disability diagnoses. Survivors who spent their childhoods living and working at Huronia report experiences of neglect and poor living conditions, as well as physical and sexual abuse, but those stories have long been excluded from the public record.

Aim: The projects described below document the history of the Huronia Regional Centre as experienced by institutional survivors.

Related Project: Huronia Survivors Speakers Bureau

Objectives: To coordinate a speakers bureau, a community outreach activity that enables institutional survivors to headline public speaking events around Canada for audiences of researchers, students, policymakers, service providers, and self-advocates.

Funding: Strategic Program Investment Fund

Team Members:

  • Jen Rinaldi – Project Lead
  • Kate Rossiter – Co-Investigator
  • Siobhan Saravanamuttu – Student Collaborator
  • Carrieanne Ford – Community Partner
  • Harold Dougall – Community Partner
  • David Houston – Community Partner
  • Cindy Scott – Community Partner
  • Patricia Seth – Community Partner
  • Marie Slark – Community Partner

Related Project: Recounting Huronia Digital Archive

Objectives: To build an open-access digital archive featuring donated records, audio and video interviews with survivors, and onsite tour photography, organized in ways that that centre survivor histories of the Huronia Regional Centre.

Funding: Strategic Program Investment Fund

Team Members:

  • Kate Rossiter – Project Lead
  • Jen Rinaldi – Co-Investigator
  • Nancy Viva Davis Halifax – Co-Investigator
  • Annalise Clarkson – Student Collaborator
  • Siobhan Saravanamuttu – Student Collaborator
  • Katharine Viscardis – Student Collaborator
  • Alex Tigchelaar – Student Collaborator

Related Project: Recounting Huronia: A Participatory Arts-Based Research Project

Objectives: To explore the history of the Huronia Regional Centre with institutional survivors in monthly workshops using an arts-based, trauma-informed research creation methodology.

Funding: SSHRC Insight Development Grant

Team Members:

  • Kate Rossiter – Project Lead
  • Jen Rinaldi – Co-Investigator
  • nancy viva davis halifax – Co-Investigator
  • David Fancy – Co-Investigator
  • Jay Dolmage – Co-Investigator
  • Patricia Seth – Community Partner
  • Marie Slark – Community Partner