Wednesday, 20 August 2014

More Evidence that Children were NOT Murdered and Tossed into Mass Graves at Residential Schools

It seems that Kevin Annett has trouble with conceptualizing and addressing "the truth", when he has become so invested in "the story" he has concocted and succeeded in dragging into his bizarre world an assorted mélange who are his "supporters".  This process has been seen Canada - wide, and includes Six Nations.  The particular antic which will be addressed here is his effort to convince First Nations groups across Canada that the Residential Schools murdered little children and disposed of their bodies in mass graves.  This is a somewhat typical "conspiracy theory", a complete hoax for which there is not a shred of evidence, but that has not stopped concerned people across Canada from rallying to his cause.  He has duped even the Hereditary Chiefs (whether all or not I don't know) who believed his version of unsupported reality.

To learn about this character, where one can see probably the most detailed and comprehensive view of his life story, and all the damage he has done by perpetuating hoaxes of one sort or another, see here.   I have always thought that those who have become his supporters, are probably those who would believe in alien visitations, ghostly apparitions, and are susceptible to becoming drawn into a cult.  Basically Annett has a cult following who, despite the mounting evidence of his hoax involving a mass conspiracy to cover up murders at the Mohawk Institute.  The Mohawk Institute is the Residential School associated with Six Nations - known to some as the "Mush Hole" - but is actually on the Six Nations Reserve unlike Residential Schools in other parts of Canada.  Annett claims that there are untold numbers of bodies of small children which were consigned to bone pits after their murder.  To a scientist such as myself, red flags go up all over the place.  I know the Mohawk Institute as it exists today (Woodland Cultural Center) since I have been there many times for a variety of functions.  Its history and its affiliation with the Anglican Church is well established.  Only one whose mind wanders towards conspiracy theories would believe any such allegations.

The belief in the "evidence" and "theories" of Annett has created quite a fuss with members of the Six Nations Reserve.  The assumption was that the same things which happened at say a Residential School in Alberta must have happened at this "institution".  So therefore, according to this perspective, Aboriginal children were forcibly taken away from their parents, had their hair cut, were forced to speak English only, and were indoctrinated in the ways of the White world as a process of acculturation and of course the word "genocide" comes into the picture as it does in multiple ways at Six Nations. 

In fact, the Mohawk Institute was built upon the property of the Six Nations Reserve, in a setting where there was enough land to teach agricultural practices (and in the Annett world, hide a mass grave or two).  Due to this geographical situation, children could literally walk home for weekends, or their parents could pick them up in a wagon or car (it didn't close as a school until 1970).  Also, until recently, most of the teachers at Six Nations were former pupils at the Mohawk Institute.  This makes it a rather unlikely candidate for the scenario that Annett would have you believe.

As to the supposedly harsh and cruel practices, I have mentioned before that those who attended the school at Six Nations call the whole matter "controversial", and some are vehemently against the picture that is being painted.  I have also noted that on one occasion when there was a meeting for some purpose a few years back, two young women attended this meeting, one was a White woman from Toronto, and the other a woman with some Six Nations heritage who also lives in Toronto.  The former cited an interview she had with an elderly woman from (I think) Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory who said that there were children of a certain surname who came to the Mohawk Institute and were never heard from again.  No one here had heard that surname associated with Six Nations or this area.  The women provoked some irritation in those Elders who had attended the Mohawk Institute as children.  They recalled a much more benign climate than what the two women were describing.  In the words of one Elder, "At home we were beaten, starved, and learned nothing.  At school we were beaten, got three meals a day, and learned something".  That seemed to signal to the women that their presence and their message was not greatly appreciated.

Still, in the past few years, once Annett got involved, there were searches for the "mass grave" and someone came up with bone material (later shown to be animal), and the group of supporters who believed faithfully in Annett's stories stuck by him through thick and thin.  Even when ground penetrating radar failed for find any graves, this deterred no one.  It reminds me of the adherents to doomsday cults where, when the "big day" comes where the world is supposed to end, and it doesn't, there is some excuse and a new scenario is painted and everyone is back onboard. 

When it comes to Six Nations, new evidence found by a relative of mine, and sent to me yesterday, pretty well demolishes Annett's little hoax.  Some burial records of Her Majesty's Chapel of the Mohawks, across the road from the Mohawk Institute, were saved from a fire of 1903 which burned most of the burial records, although both the baptismal and marriage records from 1827 were saved.  The surviving records of Burials in the Mohawk Chapel Burying Ground show that some local White people from the Brantford area, some Six Nations members, and children from the Mohawk Institute were buried here. 

What follows is the records for, Mohawk Chapel, Burial Records at the Mohawk Chapel 1829 - 1947, Brant County Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society, Brantford, Ontario.  The records are a compilation of primarily tombstone transcriptions, along with scanty information from surviving burial register records, largely from visiting Anglican ministers.  As the compiler, Alma Luard, stated, "The records from 1841-1878 were lost in a fire in 1903".  I have seen a selection burial records for Six Nations members dating from 1828 to 1878 recorded by Rev. (later Archdeacon) Abram Nelles in 1879 and sent to correspondents interested in the history of the Church,.  It is clear that all of the early books that make up the "Indian Burial Register" is now lost, and only the most recent records, and the entries kept by itinerant ministers, appear to have survived for earlier years.  Effectively, the only complete burial records are those from after 1900.  I looked through the records for entries pertaining to the students from the Mohawk Institute, since records that the children who died while attending the Mohawk Institute would pretty well expose the "Annett hoax".  Now we have a conclusive answer, and hopefully it will stop the futile searches of properties around the Mohawk Institute for non-existent bone pits.

Here is the list of students who died at the Mohawk Institute and were buried at the Mohawk Chapel.  The records are from the surviving registers dating from 1879.  I have no records of the probably much larger number of students who died at the Mohawk Institute and were taken home to the Reserve at nearby Tuscarora Township for burial.  I would guess that the school records, if fully searched, would include information as important as a death at school.

Here follows the available list of burials,

ASKEWE, Solomon, pupil at the Mohawk Inst. from Cape Croker died June 1902

CUSICK, Jesse 10 years Mohawk Inst. Feb. 10 1907
GIBSON, Robert, 10 Mohawk Inst. June 5 1917
LACOUR, Theresa, 10 Caughnawaga, Aug 9 1891 Indian pupil at the Mohawk Institute
MARACLE, Jenny, 16 Mohawk Inst. Aug 16, 1900
MARACLE, Margaret 14 Mohawk Inst. June 16, 1901
WALKER, Mabel, 11, Cape Croker, Pupil at the Mohawk Inst. Aug 8 1902
WILSON, Inez, 11, Tuscarora, Pupil at the Mohawk Inst. Apr. 6 1900
Thus the evidence suggests that any child who died while attending the Mohawk Institute, and whose body was not recovered by their parents or guardian, were given decent burials in the Anglican Burying Ground of the Mohawk Chapel.  No doubt that the children who died before 1891 were given similar burials, but the records are lost.
Hopefully the craziness that caught on like an infection at Six Nations, but which has lately suffered from some "setbacks" as seen here, will completely fade away.  I would like to see Annett charged with some crime - but am not clear on what criminal offence he has perpetrated, other than playing on peoples gullibility.  At least his "Mohawk name" was revoked after suspicions became overwhelming as seen here.



  1. Robert Gibson is/was my grandmother youngest brother. His body needs to be recovered

  2. There is no map of the Mohawk Chapel graveyard. Only a small percentage of graves have markers (rather typical of earlier days), be they residents of Brantford, Six Nations Reserve, or those from elsewhere. I would love to be able to bring home the remains of the siblings of my great grandfather, but they are all over India, no markers, only an entry in the Ministers register book. Just the way it is - not the way I would like it to be.