Featured Exhibition

We Were Taught Differently Exhibition Image

Each year we offer several temporary exhibitions presenting a variety of topics. Visit the upcoming exhibitions schedule to learn more about what is booked to be on display, or view our list of past exhibitions to see what we have previously hosted. We are currently offering the “Ice Age Mammals” exhibition.

we were taught differently: the indian residential school experience

This award-winning exhibit, a partnership project of the Lake of the Woods Museum, the Ne-Chee Friendship Centre and the Lake of the Woods Ojibway Cultural Centre originally opened at the Lake of the Woods Museum in Kenora, Ontario in 2008, and is on display again in 2019 here in Peterborough, Ontario. 

This exhibition examines the Indian residential school experience, most particularly in the two schools that were located in Kenora, Ontario - Cecilia Jeffrey and St. Mary's. It also includes mention of all six schools in Treaty #3, as many local residents were sent to schools outside the immediate Kenora area. The exhibit is reflective of the residential school experience across Canada, nation-wide.

Powerful images, text, archival material and personal recollections combine to tell the story of the residential school experience. Visitors will learn why residential schools were established, what life in the schools was like, the legacy of the schools, the recent settlement agreement, and Government and church apologies.

Donald Copenance, former Executive Director of the Ne-Chee Friendship Centre and member of the exhibit planning committee, commented on the effect of the schools on his and his family's lives, "As a former student of a residential school, I've come to understand how much residential school has affected our whole family. Both my parents and all my sibilings attended residential school and that experience has had a real impact on our lives, both good and bad. We've carried that experience into our own lives and our own families."

The primary objectives of this exhibit are to acknowledge this part of our history; to promote awareness about the residential schools and the long-term effect they had on the First Nations people; and to honour those whose lives have been touched by the school. It is an exhibit for everyone. 

"We were taught differently: the indian residential school experience" was awarded an Ontario Historical Society Award of Excellence in Community Programming in 2011. The creation of this exhibit was made possible through funding provided by the Anglican Church Healing Fund, the United Churh Healing Fund, the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, and the Kenora and Lake of the Woods Regional Community Foundation