When you can't unearth the covered up: archaeology and the memorialization of Mount Cashel orphanage

Osmond, Jazpyn (2020) When you can't unearth the covered up: archaeology and the memorialization of Mount Cashel orphanage. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Far too often, places try only to bring forth the best parts of their heritage. St. John’s, Newfoundland is no different. The site of Mount Cashel Orphanage constitutes a ‘place of shame,’ associated with a number of instances of sexual and physical abuse committed by members of the Congregation of Christian Brothers against the boys at the orphanage. Local police, the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary (RNC), and the Church covered up these allegations. In 1989, the RNC reopened an investigation, uncovering this abuse, which ultimately led to the orphanage's closure that had operated from 1898 to 1990. In 1992 Mount Cashel Orphanage was demolished, and today there is a grocery store, housing, and a memorial park, covering the site. I would argue that multiple factors explain the continuance of the cover-ups around the orphanage’s history, which does not show as a part of the area’s difficult heritage. To help combat this and to highlight how all heritage is important to the city’s narrative, I propose two ways of memorializing Mount Cashel Orphanage in this master’s thesis. This project's research involved interviewing two individuals connected to the Mount Cashel Orphanage and uses their responses regarding memorialization in conjunction with outside research.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/15013
Item ID: 15013
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 110-141).
Keywords: Mount Cashel Orphanage, Memorialization, Archaeology, Counter-Monumentality, Places of Shame, Difficult Heritage, Archaeology of the Contemporary Past
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Archaeology
Date: November 2020
Date Type: Submission
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.48336/af02-fr89
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Mount Cashel Orphanage (St. John's, N.L.)--Archives; Historic sites--Newfoundland and Labrador--St. John's.

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