Lisgar French Immersion students experience Project of Heart


Recently French Immersion students from Lisgar Collegiate in Ottawa teamed with Project of Heart for the first time thanks to Genevieve Durand, a teacher-candidate from the University of Ottawa.

Genevieve invited Inuk Indian Residential School survivor Ovilu Goo Doyle to talk to her students about her experiences. Another IRS Survivor, Helen Kakekaputum was also in attendance with her sister, Alice. Algonquin Elder Annie St. George conducted a smudging ceremony. As the social justice action, students learned about the First Nations Child and Family Caring society’s case before the Human Rights Tribunal and sent letters to the Prime Minister to ask that Canada lives up to our responsibility to care for First Nations children to the same extent that all other Canadian children are cared for, in health, education, and child welfare.

Here’s what Genevieve had to say, en Francais:

J’ai décidé de sensibiliser mes élèves à la réalité des communautés autochtones du Canada. Trop souvent oubliés dans l’histoire de notre pays et sans aucun doute laisser dans l’ombre depuis des centaines et des centaines d’années, les autochtones ont vécu de terribles drames suite à la colonisation de leurs territoires par les Européens. Traités de sauvages et perçus comme des enfants aux yeux du gouvernement, ils ont été contraint d’envoyer leurs enfants dans les pensionnats afin de les rendre “civilisés”. Ce que les enfants ont vécu dans ces endroits remplis de haine et inimaginable. Aujourd’hui, la vérité doit être dévoilée et en tant qu’enseignante c’est mon devoir de sensibiliser mes élèves à cette triste réalité. Ensemble, nous pouvons faire la différence! Ensemble, nous pouvons aider à la guérison des blessures laissées par les douleurs du passé.

Le projet à Lisgar a été une réussite incroyable. Mes élèves ont grandit dans cette aventure. C’est maintenant eux qui feront LA différence!

In English:

I decided to familiarize my students with the realities of First Nation communities. Too often forgotten by the history of our country and no doubt hidden for hundreds and hundreds of years. The First Nations have lived terrible events since colonization of their territories by Europeans. Treated as savages and perceived as children in the eyes of government, they were obligated to send their children to boarding schools in order to be “civilized”. What the children lived in these places full of hate was unimaginable. Today the truth needs to be revealed and as a teacher it is my duty to raise awareness of my students of this sad reality. Together we ca make the difference. Together we can heal the wounds left by the pains of the past. Project of Heart at Lisgar was an incredible success. My students have grown during this adventure. It’s now them who will make THE difference!

Project of Heart says “Meegwetch” to the French Immersion students at Lisgar Collegiate, and their teacher-candidate from Ottawa University, Genevieve Durand.

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