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Activity 2

Colonial Eugenics in Education

Notice how Mona Stonefish continues her story.


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On Friday, September 27th, 2019, the Guelph Civic Museum hosted a launch for the opening of Into the Light: Eugenics and Education in Southern Ontario, an exhibition co-curated by Mona Stonefish, Peter Park, Dolleen Tisawii’ashii Manning, Evadne Kelly, Seika Boye, and Sky Stonefish. At this event, Mona Stonefish publicly shared her story.

Mona Stonefish has chosen to share her story in this module. Her story is presented in four portions. Each portion of her story begins an Activity. The following video shows the second portion of her story. She shares the rest of her story at the start of each remaining module Activity. To view Mona Stonefish’s full story, click here.

Mona Stonefish’s Story

Credits | Transcript | ASL Content Alert

Captioned and ASL Interpreted Video
Described Video Introduction
Described Video

I had been injured very badly because of the heinous crimes that happened to me at the Mohawk Institute in Brantford Ontario. And because of the injuries I have a limp. And because of the humour, the sense of humour that we have as Nishnaabeg and Onkwehón:we people, the girls in my dorm started calling me “step-and-a-half.” So when I’d walk, you know, they could tell. So they’d say “hey step.” So, and we were always very careful not to speak our language in front of some of the older people because they'd been there for so long and they would tell on us because it was better us to be harmed than them.

So I want to read this to you because I am victorious today.

Terrible gut-wrenching things happened to many ᐊᓂᔑᓇᐯ (Anishinaabe) Onkwehón:we. Milk white hands. Hands with thick hair. Hands with protruding veins. Hands with baby silk skin. Hands that felt like lumberjack skin. All types of hands would slip under the covers. Boldly commencing their exploration of our tender bodies. White hands would press against our breasts caress our necks. Like a canoe on calm water, white hands would travel the length of the sternum, the ebb of the abdomen, curve and wind around our innocent and restrictive thighs. Under the covers it meant to be a place of comfort, not fear.

Head falls and rests upon pillow. Innermost thoughts overcome possessed with worries. Swirling notions of fight-or-flight. Dawn. Our dreams are vivid and sacred. Confronted by a rapist at 7-years-old, whom by day priest, brother and sister. As long as the sun shines bright white hands are cloaked in black robes. Once in the sun is put to bed, engulfed by dusk, white hands disappear under my covers. I lay ever so still. Like death, we are without breath. Waiting for my anticipated violator. Baby lamb, never quite ready for my premature slaughter. Tiny frozen shells. Agonizing, how agonizing. Nights unforgiving. Sure thing, pure souls full of fear, guilt, shame, shut down. That's why we have murdered and missing women. That's why we're wearing orange shirts. That our children matter. Do they matter? Do we matter? I give that to you. ~ Mona Stonefish

Nine stones creating a path float over a looped background video of water rippling. The following links are revealed when one hovers their cursor over their corresponding stone. Nine stones creating a path float over a looped background video of water rippling. The following links are revealed when one hovers their cursor over their corresponding stone. Nine stones creating a path float over a looped background video of water rippling. The following links are positioned over their corresponding stone.
  1. Video Credits


    Dominique Ireland (Deaf Interpreter, Connect Interpreting Services), and Debbie Parliament (ASL-English Interpreter, Connect Interpreting Services). ASL video overlay by Aaron Kelly.

    Described Video:

    Writing/ dramaturgy: Kat Germain, Rebecca Singh, Jennifer Brethour

    Consultations: Melanie Marsden, Melissa George-Watson

    Voice Actors: Elder Glenda Klassen, Christine Malec, Colette Desjardins, Scotty Yams

    Sound Engineer: David Stinson

    Slide Credits:

    This project has been generously funded by eCampusOntario (ID # GUEL - 564) and University of Guelph’s Learning Enhancement Fund. Ontario Commons Licensing-Non Derivative. Speaker is Mona Stonefish. Original Videographer Angus McClellen. Original Score by Angus McClellen. Video Edited by Hannah Fowlie.


    Toaster Lab, ReVisioning Fitness, eCampusOntario, Bodies in Translation: Activist Art, Technology, and Access to Life, Guelph Museums, Respecting Rights, Creative Users Projects, ARCH Disability Law Centre, University of Guelph, Re•Vision: The Centre for Art and Social Justice.