A building that was once the Mohawk Institute Indian Residential School is being renovated in southern Ontario.
And during the construction workers uncovered certain things within the walls that speak of the buildings history that closed in 1970.
Hidden under a stairwell were signatures and writings of young girls.
Dawn Hill first saw the writings in a virtual tour of the building last year.
She immediately noticed her mom’s name, Hazel Vanevry.
“My family knew that she was there. Two of my an aunts were there as well. So seeing that on the wall was pretty tough … it was hard,” said Hill.
Her mom came to school in 1934 at the age of nine. She left when she was 16.
The writings have been carefully removed from their original location for preservation and will be part of the building’s future as the Woodland Culture Centre in Brantford, Ont.
“We can’t ever forget what that history was, and we can’t ever deny what that history was because that historical trauma that was visited upon this First Nation community has really impacted not just that person, it has filtered down to generation after generation,” said Hill.
The building is scheduled to be open in 2020.