Brantford wants records released on former residential school

Brantford is calling for the federal government, provincial government and the Anglican Church to release all documents related to the former Mohawk Institute Indian Residential School in Six Nations.

City councilors unanimously supported the notice of motion at a special council meeting on Tuesday.

"Tonight's special council meeting is exclusively dedicated to a very import and emotional subject," said Brantford Mayor Kevin Davis.

In a media release, the city said it was asking for all three groups to "respectfully release to the Survivors' Secretariat immediately" their records.

That's the group that is coordinating search efforts to uncover unmarked graves near the former residential school.

"We are grateful to the City of Brantford for their support and advocacy of our mandate to create a community archive by collecting all related records from governments, churches and other institutions that were known to have been involved in the operations of the Mohawk Institute," said Kimberly Murray in the release.

It went on to say that Ward 5 Councillor Joshua Wall worked with the Survivors' Secretariat to draft the Notice of Motion.

"If the City of Brantford can release all records related to the Mohawk Institute Indian Residential School, other levels of government can too, because survivors and the families of those who never came home deserve to know the truth."

Council also heard from three survivors at Tuesday's meeting. Dawn Hill, Geronimo Henry and Diane Hill shared their experiences at the residential school.

The city said a copy of the resolution will be sent to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Premier Doug Ford, the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, Minister of Indigenous Services, Minister of Indigenous Affairs, as well as local MPs and MPPs.

The Mohawk Institute Indian Residential School was in operation from 1831 to 1970.