Learners in the Halton Catholic District School Board (Ontario) will be able to look back on a memorable day due to Aboriginal Liason Officer Sherry Saevil, who took the time and the energy to make it possible for over 60 students from across the Board to learn about the impact of the Residential Schools on Aboriginal peoples in Canada.
Indigenous children who never returned home from going to Indian Residential Schools in Amos (QC), Fort Providence (NWT), Alexandra School for Girls (Toronto, ON), Cecelia Jeffery (ON), McIntosh (ON), and Spanish (ON) were all remembered through talk, ceremony, and action.
Teacher Heather Poublon and her Native Studies students recently dove into Project of Heart to learn more about First Nation, Metis, and Inuit people’s experiences at the Indian Residential Schools. Creativity and excitement were the result in the classroom, as the students persevered in their attempts to get their local Member of Parliament to come to their school to address their concerns.
Three grade 8 classes at Dolphin Senior School in Mississauga, Ontario, participated in the Project of Heart in the winter of 2013. Students read selections from Shirley Sterling’s book, My Name is Seepeetza (Douglas & McIntyre, 1992), and conducted research on the Indian Residential School closest to them, The Mohawk Institute, in Brantford, Ontario. They then created posters about various topics related to the institute, and decorated and presented their tiles to the class. Continue reading Dolphin Senior School honours the memory of the students who never came home from the Mohawk Institute→
At St. Pius X Catholic High School in Ottawa, ON, the students of the NDA 3M class recently completed their Project of Heart adventure. It began with weeks of learning about residential schools and the devastating impact they’ve had on the First Nations, Metis and Inuit people of Canada. Many students described it as an eye opening experience, really putting together the missing puzzle pieces they had been searching for. At the same time, it was also a memorable and enjoyable experience for them to feel like they were a part of something larger and to be able to give back, through the survivor cards), to a community searching for healing.
At Garth Webb Secondary School in Oakville, Ontario, every Grade 10 student participated in the Project of Heart this year. Named after a D-Day veteran, Garth Webb Secondary School embraces a culture of active remembrance and respect for all Canadians. The students created their tiles with a specific survivor in mind, after reading first-hand accounts of experiences in residential schools. This experience was made even more powerful by hearing IRS survivor Geronimo Henry speak about his life during his years at Mohawk School in Brantford, ON. For many students, this was their first exposure to the IRS legacy in Canada, and has sparked an interest and appreciation for the issues facing Aboriginal people today.
Eileen MacDougald and Lesle McKay are teachers from Williams Parkway Senior Public School in Brampton, Ontario. Working together, Eileen and Leslie integrated Project of Heart into their history class as they dovetailed the themes of Confederation and the settlement of Western Canada with the emergence of the residential school era. Continue reading Williams Parkway Senior Public School rocks Project of Heart→
Mary Graham and the students in her Native Studies course at Timiskaming District Secondary School in Northern Ontario will never forget commemorating the students who lost their lives while attending the Federal Hostel in Cape Dorset, Nunavut. As Graham states, “It is a project of learning, of compassion, and of reconciliation.” Continue reading Moving hearts at Timiskaming District S.S.→
“Painting the wooden tiles was an honour. I felt very good about being able to contribute towards the healing of so many wounds. I had always wanted to and with the lyrics of my favourite motivational song I was able to do so. ‘Keep holding on, just stay strong.’ Those words helped me through a lot of times in my life and I felt they could help those affected by residential schools.”
These are the words of Miranda Henderson, Grade 12 student at Queen Elizabeth District High School. Miranda and many other Grade 10 Native Studies students were lucky to be in Sylvia Davis’ classroom when they found an excellent way to commemorate both the survivors of the Indian Residential Schools as well as the ones who never made it back home. Continue reading Sioux Lookout Students complete Project of Heart→