Residential school survivors, children, and some government officials planted ten apple trees in front of the former Mohawk Institute in Brantford today.
The trees were planted where an entire orchard once grew while the school was in operation. Students worked in the field, but the fruit was always off-limits, even though they were hungry.
Six Nations Elected Chief Mark Hill says the ceremony was about reclaiming what was taken away. The trees will be a part of a larger project, the Mohawk Village Memorial Park.
The park will be on the front lawn of the Mohawk Institute, which is also in the process of being refurbished into a museum.
Survivors want the space to be a positive inclusive place to learn and heal.
Mohawk Village Memorial Park is expected to be completed within the next two years.
Searches on the Brantford grounds will continue this summer.