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.
The first evening participants listened to the NFC documentary “We Were Children”. After that, Elder and traditional healer, Irene Lindsay from Minwashin Lodge told her story and helped participants to understand what the IRS was about and how she still has to deal with the impacts.
The second workshop saw the women decorating tiles, each in memory of a child who died as a result of the IRS. They then began an active discussion about why there is so much violence against Indigenous women in Canada and its root causes (racism, sexism, and ongoing colonization).
As serious as the topic of the IRS was, and impacts as sever, the workshops were not without their lighter moments. Food, laughter, and the warmth of friendship that is derived from a common experience, helped to mitigate the seriousness of their educational endeavour. Participants took their civic responsibilities to heart as they they signed Amnesty International’s “Stolen Sisters Campaign” petition.
We at Project of Heart want to thank Trysh, the outreach coodinator at Harmony House, for welcoming the opportunity for us to be with and learn with the Sisterhood! Meegwetch!