On February 13th, Ottawa teachers Kim Bruton and Amanda Anderson presented Project of Heart at Connaught Public School’s Evening Towards Reconciliation. The event was put on by the school and parent council to continue a dialogue regarding Indigenous culture and history. The first part of the programme included a dinner, and keynote addresses by Peter Garrow and the Caring Society’s Daxton Reid.
The workshops that followed showcased different aspects of Indigenous issues and culture. Kim and Amanda presented to an audience that consisted of several adults and many children, showing that you are never to old or too young to understand that Canada’s actions towards Indigenous peoples was unjust. The participants were given a brief background on residential schools and then an explanation of how Project of Heart is used in the broader community. The tile decorating process was unique in that grandparents and parents helped their children to come up with appropriate designs and imagery. Parents shared that some of them had never of the IRS until now. Some parents shared their own emotional experiences in the education system and how colonialism still affects us today. Connaught students enjoyed decorating tiles, and some even stayed into the second workshop to continue to decorate and learn.