Photoset: All ages come together for J4IW at University of Regina’s Luther College
(Editor’s note: this article is cross-posted from J4Iw.ca)
University of Regina graduate student Jenna Tickell has a history with working for justice;
in fact, she’s the person the Regina Industrial Indian School (RIIS) Commemoration Association approached when they were garnering support to pressure Regina City Council to grant Municipal Heritage Rights for the RIIS. Once Project of Heart created the change.org petition with the assistance of David Owens, class member, there was no turning back.
Recently, with the support of her Masters Supervisor Dr. Brenda Anderson, Tickell organized a gathering of Regina community members ages 7 to 70 who volunteered to participate in a workshop held at Luther College at The University of Regina called “Justice for Indigenous Women.”
The last school term before the summer break saw Lethbridge Grade 4 students from Sunnyside Elementary School take part in a cultural exchange to learn about residential schools and Aboriginal culture through storytelling, art and dance.
It’s hard to think of a more appropriate title for a publication. With the work of reconciliation picking up pace across the country, this hard-hitting, truth-telling teacher resource makes it clear that Saskatchewan’s tragic IRS experience will not be left out of the narrative.
Published by University of Regina’s Faculty of Education, Saskatchewan’s Project of Heart has been working up to this moment for almost two years.
Publications Manager Shuana Niessen had this to say:
“Researching and writing this ebook has been the most meaningful work in my career.
Pulling together school-specific information from primary source documents, news clippings, research, and the NCTR reports along with listening to survivor/thriver stories have all contributed to a greater understanding of the complex issues around the history of Indian residential schools in Saskatchewan. I am so grateful to have had this opportunity to learn and I hope that others will find Shattering the Silence: The Hidden History of Indian Residential Schools in Saskatchewan an informative and accessible ebook from which to learn and teach about Indian residential schools in Saskatchewan.”
On behalf of Project of Heart (National) we want to throw out a huge meegwetch to Shuana and the University of Regina’s Faculty of Education for the sustained commitment that was undertaken to create this excellent resource.
May we NEVER attempt to whitewash our collective history again.
Today and tomorrow (August 14 & 15), Canadian officials appear before a UN committee and must explain why they are actively resisting four orders from the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal that require them to stop discriminating against 163,000 First Nations children. It was over one and a half years ago that the Tribunal concluded that Canada was guilty of racial discrimination by not funding First Nations children on and off reserves, and it has since made three more rulings ordering Canada to comply.
This past spring Curriculum Services Canada invited Project of Heart’s Charlene Bearhead to speak about her work in the field of reconciliation. Charlene is the former Education Lead for the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation and is the current Education Coordinator for the MMIW inquiry.
Here’s Curriculum Service’s CEO Amy Coupal talking about the powerful impact of Charlene’s address:
I had the privilege of hearing Charlene Bearhead speak at an international education conference in Ottawa earlier this year. She blew me away, and frankly the whole audience, too. She challenged and enlightened me and I’ve harkened back to her message many times. As we’ve been thinking and learning about Canada 150, we asked Charlene to share her thoughts. Take a look at her guest blog post…
After you click the link and read the post, we’d be eager to here *your* reflections on the meaning of #Canada150 in the comments section below.
This amazing CBC report features long-time Project of Heart teacher Lisa Powell from Pierre Elliot Trudeau Elementary in Gatineau who explains how she pairs local seniors with her own young learners from James Bay and Kitiganzibi.
One of the most gripping moments is realizing that the “senior buddies” are hearing the story of Jordan River Anderson for the the first time; the saga of how one child was forced to live his entire life in a hospital bed because no level of government would agree to pay for his home care is a shameful blot on Canada’s reputation and not one the Federal government is eager to discuss. So schoolchildren just a few short blocks away from INAC headquarters are telling the story instead.
And while we are talking about Jordan, here is a link to the Broadbent Institute’s petition calling on the Federal government to respect the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings that Canada must cease discriminatory practices against Indigenous children.
April 24, 2017 was a special day for the Education Faculty at the University of Ottawa as experienced educators joined with BEd. Teacher Candidates to “teach them how to teach” Project of Heart to their future students. It was a “Teachers Teaching Teachers” seminar.
The seminar was organized by the Faculty of Education’s Director of Teacher Education, Dr. Nicholas Ng-A-Fook. Nicholas was aware of the strength of Project of Heart from past presentations, and this past term he created the opportunity to offer it as part of a teacher training symposium.
The Caring Society have just released their PSAs for this spring’s Heart Garden campaign. You’ll be impressed with just how articulate the young learners participating are; it’s been said so often before but it’s still so true — nobody *gets* injustice like young people do.