Courtice Secondary School in southern Ontario recently partnered with Project of Heart. Here are some excerpts from what the students had to say about POH after teacher, Mike Strahl, led them through the 5 part module:
Tayler: My name is Tayler. Mr. Strahl is my History teacher. After he told me about all the things the Aboriginal people had gone through, I was really upset hearing about some of the things. I was really happy to participate.
Matt: I feel honoured to be in this Project because in this Project, we remember and honour the Aboriginal children who were murdered in these residential schools during the late 1800s and early 1900s. What had happened in these schools was wrong and sickening and I am glad it’s over and we are taking part in this Project.
Justin: While taking part in this Project of Heart, I felt great just to know why we are doing this for all the Aboriginal children that died in these schools. I was contributing to something special. I kind of feel connected by doing this, by showing them that we know what happened and how they feel.
Cassidy: When I was participating in the Project of Heart, I felt extremely inspired. Decorating the tiles brought a feeling out of me that I have really never experienced before. I would never want to experience what these children did. When decorating the tiles, all I could think of was world peace. It is what I would have wished for the children back then (peace). Thank you to the creator of this Project.
Tommy: I feel that the Project of Heart is a very good thing and I am proud to be a part of it. I hope the tiles I made are put to good use in educating the world about residential schools.
Brent: Being a part of the Project of Heart was a good way to reflect upon the tragic happenings that went on in these schools. This Project is a creative way to pay respect to the children that didn’t survive. It was an honour to do this.
Anna: I feel honoured to be able to take part in such a special and truly significant commemoration of the youth that were lost in the residential schools.
Tyler: For me colouring in these tiles was a lot of fun and meant a lot. It was awful what happened to the Aboriginal children and we can never pay them back enough or say sorry enough to make it even. So, by doing these tiles it shows our understanding of how hard of a time it was for the Aboriginal people and that we apologize.
Matt: I liked doing the Project of Heart. It was a very important course to be a part of. It is important to know what horrible things our government did, and this was a good way to learn about it. I hope that every school in Canada can do this and be a part of the Project of Heart. Thanks for letting our class be part of this great Project!
Kelly: I am very proud to say that I took part in the Project of Heart. I made 4 tiles with different designs. One is a feather, one is a rainbow, one is a sun and land and one of them is a sun with birds. Our school that we were drawing for was Federal Hostel, Fort Franklin, N.W.T. I feel terrible for what happened to the kids in that school. I feel very proud that I took part in this Project. I feel it’s definitely an accomplishment.
Michelle: Aboriginal people are a huge part of the world’s history and culture. After having about what they went through and the conditions they lived through, I was excited to do the tiles. It’s fun to do and it makes people aware of the hardships they went through in their schools.
Chantel: I felt really good taking part in this Project. I felt really special and very peaceful knowing that I did something big to represent the children that had died in residential schools. Knowing that each of the tiles being drawn on today is getting put on display in the Human Rights Museum in Winnipeg shows that we care.
Megan: While taking part in the Project of Heart, I felt good because I knew I was contributing to something special. It also made me feel important because I was doing something for all the children who died and suffered from the Residential Schools.
Josh: I feel like I’m doing the right thing today by decorating these tiles because I get to show my respect to all the Aboriginal people that were treated with disrespect when they were in the residential schools.
Connor: These tiles represent the lives of thousands of Aboriginal children that were lost during the late 1800s and early 1900s. I drew them to show my respect for the 5 to 6 generations that were affected by these residential schools.
Brody: I am very glad and honoured to have taken part in the Project of Heart. After learning about the residential schools in Canada, I was very shocked. Since taking part in this Project, it feels good to have drawn symbols of peace and love which a lot of people did not have going to these schools.
Jacob: I believe that being part of this Project is hugely important and a great experience. To pay tribute to all the Aboriginal children who died in our schools and try to mend our ties with our fellow Canadians is really important.
Leanne: It meant a lot to me, to get to take part in the Project of Heart. I think the way these Aboriginal kids were treated was absolutely awful and they deserve to be remembered.
Alyssa: It was my honour to make tiles. It felt good taking part in the Project of Heart knowing how many kids have died or suffered in these horrible schools. Having tiles made for these kids shows a lot and lets them know they have a right to be remembered.
Brandon: This Project was very fun and exciting to do. I am very happy that I was able to take part in such an event. I will never forget this day.