Professor Lisa Taylor from Bishops University laid down a major challenge for Project of Heart participants from her Education program, and it arose from a observation made by Charlene Bearhead, Education Lead with the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR):
They made a what? Teacher Caroline Leppanen from Hewitt’s Creek Public School in Barrie, Ontario delighted us with her learners’ amazing creativity in this inspiring report:
My grade 6 class spent a great deal of time inquiring about Truth and Reconciliation, First Nations circle teachings, Grandfather teachings, and residential schools. We have completed our Project of Heart! And are excited to share it with you!
We will hold a dedication ceremony in September.We have shared our process via Twitter @leppanens_world
Our plan? The table will be placed in our Learning Commons. It will be a place for groups to come when they need to arrive at a consensus. It will be a place for people to come when they are in need of a restorative session. Its tiles all tell a story of my students’ learning. They will share these stories at the dedication ceremony.
In this video for the Caring Society, Summer Bisson — one of the students from the first-ever school to do Project of Heart (Elizabeth Wyn Wood Alternate Site, in Ottawa) –talks about what reconciliation means to her and the day her class went to court to see Cindy Blackstock make the case for Indigenous children across Canada who were – and still are — being denied access to services and quality of life other Canadians take for granted”.
Two high school history teachers from the Ottawa Carleton District School Board recently brought Project of Heart to 60 students from across the National Capital area who had gathered to learn about genocide.
Langdon School in Southern Alberta has now partnered two years in a row with Project of Heart. This year two classrooms were invited to create gestures of reconciliation, and Elder Randy Bottle — an IRS survivor — came to Langdon to share his own memories of the Residential School experience.
Teaching about the Residential School Era is still not a mandatory part of the Saskatchewan K-12 curriculum but thanks to the events of the day, 1500 students and teachers went home having experienced a crash course on Canada’s hidden history. The Faculty of Education at the University of Regina organized the day’s events and Project of Heart was also on the program; students decorated tiles as witness pieces.
Our thanks go out to Dean of Education Jennifer Tupper for taking the lead in organization a superb day of Truth and Reconciliation!
This academic term saw an opportunity for students at McGill University in Montreal to learn about Project of Heart. Dr. Marie Wilson, Commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, now McGill’s “Professor of Practice in the Global Governance Institute for the Study of International Development” within the Institute for the Study of International Development, arranged for Project of Heart be presented to her students. Her course, “The Healing Imperative of Truth and Reconciliation” is taught to students who come from a wide range of disciplines and an impressive array of life-experiences. Continue reading Commissioner Marie Wilson and McGill students use POH to send Kairos message to Province of Québec→
This past term at the University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine saw first and second year students participate in a 12-hour Aboriginal health elective course. As a part of their course, students learned about the role of culture in health care, visited the Edmonton Native Healing Centre to learn about smudging, and attended a workshop on residential schools and inter-generational trauma. Continue reading University of Alberta Medical Students Learn About IRS era→
It’s 426 pages long, was published in the year 2000, and it just might be the artifact that launched Project of Heart. It’s “Canada: Face of Nation”, by Gage Educational Publishing, and it manages to give exactly 2 paragraphs to the national shame that was the Indian Residential School era.
It was this same “Face of a Nation” text that had students in POH founder Sylvia Smith’s classroom in 2007 scratching their heads and wondering where to go for a real history lesson when they attempted to do their own research on the IRS era. Continue reading Zombie history text refuses to die→
Education students at Bishop’s University’s recently opened their hearts and minds to learning about the Indian Residential Schools. What you are about to see is Professor Lisa Taylor’s class fully engaging in visual design, art education, and the history of the Indian Residential Schools era. Ena Greyeyes, Plains Cree artist and Elder (an IRS survivor from the St. Michael’s Indian Residential School in Duck Lake, Saskatchewan) spoke to them about the arduous but inspiring process of healing the intergenerational trauma that is part and parcel of the IRS legacy. Students in the course had already studied the impact of ongoing settler-colonial policies in Canada and personal family histories of implication.
Charlene Bearhead, Education Lead at the National Research Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, launched the project in October by introducing Project of Heart to all levels of teacher-education candidates in the Bishop’s programme, and from the beginning, they were hooked.
Dr. Lisa Taylor’s students have put together an incredible slide-show that tells the story behind each decorated tile. You may even click on parts to hear students speaking. Several Aboriginal students joined the class and painted tiles in response to the Project. Click the link to see, hear, and feel!