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Exploring Photos with the NOTL Museum: Residential school in James Bay
Exploring photos with the Niagara-on-the-Lake Museum.

This photo shows a building from the residential school in Moose Factory on the shore of James Bay in Northern Ontario. It was donated in the early 1900s by Alexander Niven, a local surveyor. The historical society often collected photographs from across the country so locals who couldn’t afford to travel could see what the world outside of NOTL looked like. The NOTL Museum plans to review its collection with Indigenous representatives to determine whether particular pieces should be repatriated. 

Today, Sept. 30, is a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. From the earliest Indigenous inhabitation extending back 13,000 years in the Niagara Peninsula, to the arrival of people of European descent, to the partnerships and treaties formed at the Indian Council House on the Commons, to the War of 1812 (where Indigenous allies were integral to the defence and preservation of our communities and nation), Niagara-on-the-Lake’s history is intricately connected with Indigenous peoples. The Niagara-on-the-Lake Museum stands with Indigenous Peoples to express our deepest sympathy to families who lost relatives because of the residential school system as well as to all those experiencing the generational trauma that this discredited system continues to inflict upon their lives.