Our thanks to teacher Dana Witte who sent us this heart-warming report about Project of Heart and her Grade 9 students at Chestermere Lake Middle School:
Two classes of grade 9 students, 9W and 9N, participated in the Project of Heart in January, 2015. We were learning about collective rights in Canada and spent time exploring the impact of residential schools on the culture and identity of our First Nations people. Students were surprised at the fact that the Canadian government at the time had made such questionable choices. They expressed regret and empathy, and noted how our indigenous people had suffered as a result. The art that was produced on wooden tiles is reflective of their respect for our First Nations and is a symbol of their hope for a better future.
Chestermere Lake is the latest Alberta school to partner with Project of Heart; click here to see a listing of other schools and workplaces in the province that have partnered with POH.
This just in from Langdon, Alberta – classroom 9T:
My name is Susanne Moskal and I am a grade 9 teacher from Langdon School in Alberta. My students have spent the last few weeks working through Project of Heart. What an incredible project! This had a huge impact on myself and all of my students. We prepared our Gesture of Reconciliation and presented it an elder (residential school survivor) that visited our class. It was such a touching and powerful moment. My students put together the attached powerpoint to explain our project and showcase pictures of what we created.
Meegwetch Susanne – your classroom’s response is an inspiration to us all!
As a tribute to all students of the Indian Residential Schools and their families, 500 children from the Ottawa-Gatineau area will join residential school survivors in creating a Heart Garden at Rideau Hall, the Governor General’s residence, by planting 1000 hearts with messages of reconciliation from across Canada. This is a joint initiative by the TRC, Project of Heart, KAIROS and the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society. Individuals, schools, community groups and communities are invited to join us in this initiative… Create a Heart Garden in your own community!.
The memory of Shannen Koustachin was kept alive at a recent event at the Museum of Nature in Ottawa.
On the evening, June Girvan, Community Service Award winner for 2014, was feted by the Canadian Race Relations Foundation for her extraodinary work in children’s rights. June dedicated the award to the memory of Shannen Koustachen and her “Dream Team” of activists for carrying on Shannen’s work–equal education for First Nations children.Shannen has inspired youth across Canada to continue her work of bringing justice to First Nations children across Canada who continue to suffer systemic discrimination at the hands of the Federal government. Continue reading
On February 10 students from Elizabeth Wyn Wood school in Ottawa made the decision to join with and support hundreds of other students from the National Capital area on Parliament Hill as they voiced their concerns to Prime Minister Stephen Harper–loud and clear! Continue reading
All eyes were on IRS survivor Helen Kakekapetum as Professor Barbara Brockmann’s Education students at the University of Ottawa heard first-hand how Indian Residential Schools had affected Helen’s life from the age of four. Continue reading
Project of Heart is thrilled to finally arrive in the U.S.A!
We have received the news that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in Detroit will be presenting POH for Native American Month in November.
Jay Jones, of Potawatomi and Ojibwa decent, is a Senior Designer and co-chair of the First Nations Group at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. He tells us, “We are in a building that has 16,000 people on any given day. I hope we have to turn people away.”
The event will most certainly be an eye-opener for most, but will have special significance for Jay. Susie Jones, Jay’s mother, is the honoured guest. As an IRS survivor, Susie will share her story as gestures of reconciliation are created to honour those who did not. Continue reading
Under the leadership of teacher Chelsea Prince, Salmon Arm Secondary completed Project of Heart by commemorating the students who attended Anahim IRS and St. George’s IRS, both in British Columbia.
Teaching this painful part of Canadian history was taken to heart by Salmon Arm students, as their heart-felt reflections (below the bump) so aptly demonstrate.
Project of Heart is grateful to the students and Ms. Prince for the effort that was taken to learn about this under-taught part of our shared history. Meegwetch. Continue reading
Harmony House is a transition home for women surviving domestic violence, and recently resident Helen Kakekapetum, an IRS suvivor from McIntosh IRS in Ontario, requested that Project of Heart be invited into the circle for two workshops to raise awareness among the women of the impact that residential schools had and continues to have. Continue reading