Algoma University’s was bustling last week as 40 Aboriginal students from across Canada participate in the 2016 First Nations Inuit Youth Employment Strategy (FNIYES) National Aboriginal Science Camp – Sault Ste. Marie, sponsored by Indigenous and Northern Affairs.
Students aged 12–15 from various provinces, who have demonstrated a keen interest in science and technology, took part in this one week camp. The camp helps First Nations and Inuit youth gain employment skills while also introducing them to new career paths and opportunities.
Students participated in a sacred fire ceremony with an elder and a visit to the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre to learn about the history of the Shingwauk and Wawanosh Residential Schools. As part of this experience the students participated in Project of Heart and created wooden tiles as a gesture of reconciliation.
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.
Editor’s note: We’ve add the Hewitt’s Creek photos to our albums page at https://www.flickr.com/photos/projectofheart/albums — it’s a great place to see how educators across Canada have incorporated POH tiles and artifacts in their classroom.
Earlier this week 38 students Grade 10 students from Central Algoma Secondary School in Desberates, Ontario visited Algoma University to learn about the history of residential schools in Canada, the Shingwauk Indian Residential School, and Project of Heart.
The day opened with Survivor Mike Cachagee speaking with students about his experience attending three residential schools. The students also spent time with Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre staff, and took a tour of the historic Shingwauk Site and participated in hands on reconciliation activities including Project of Heart.
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.
Kim Bruton and Amanda Anderson were presenting at the 3rd annual National Day of Remembrance and Action on Mass Atrocities Youth Conference at Carleton University in Ottawa. Project of Heart was invited to be part of the day’s program in order to recognize the Indian Residential School era and the vast number of Indigenous children affected by Canada’s “hidden genocide” – a cultural genocide which was meant to “kill the Indian within the child”, and that all too often killed the child as well. Continue reading Project of Heart a valuable resource for Day of Remembrance and Action on Mass Atrocities Youth Conference
Within the native spirituality unit for the grade 11 “World Religions” class, the students at École secondaire catholique Jeunesse-Nord in Blind River, Ontario discovered the history and the impact of the residential school system in Canada for First nations people of the pass and of today.
By listening to survivor’s testimonies and watching the documentary We were children, the group was overwhelmed by the injustice and abuse that occurred within these schools.
By creating the commemoration exhibit, the students hope to share their knowledge of the residential schools to their classmates and friends.
Earlier this week students from White Pines Collegiate and Vocational School in Sault Ste Marie, Ontario visited the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre.
During their visit the students spoke with residential school survivor Mike Cachagee, toured the historic Shingwauk grounds, and learned about truth and reconciliation in Canada.
The students also had an opportunity to decorate Project of Heart titles as a gesture of reconciliation.
Recently students from Central Algoma Secondary School (CASS) participated in Project of Heart during a visit to the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre at Algoma University.
As part of their visit to the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre the students learned about the former Shingwauk school, took a historical site tour, listened to Survivor experiences, and participated in hands-on learning activities.
The students also had a chance to see the Project of Heart: Children to Children Art Installation by artist and residential school survivor Shirley Horn at Algoma University. The students also decorate their own Project of Heart tiles as a gesture of reconciliation while reflecting on the residential school legacy.
As part of Huron History Day: An Active History Pre-Conference for High School and First Year Students Krista McCracken from the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre facilitated a workshop on Archives and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
The workshop introduced high school students, teachers, and undergrad students to the legacy of residential schools. It emphasized a discussion of the impacts of residential school, the important of listening to Survivor experiences, and introduced participants to the Project of Heart.
Participants left with information about Project of Heart and the suggestion that they take what they learned back to their own communities, families, and classrooms. We look forward to seeing how their own Project of Heart projects develop in the coming months.
Cross-posted from the Project of Heart National Site.
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!
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.
The Native Studies class at Lester B. Pearson Catholic High School in Ottawa again participated in the Project of Heart, decorating tiles to commemorate the Residential School victims and survivors. With the release of the Truth and Reconciliation Comission Report, this year’s class has been particularly focused on the legacy of the Residential School system, and along with the tiles wrote letters to the Federal Government encouraging action on a number of Aboriginal Issues.
The teacher, Michael Bernards, has done Project of Heart now for 6 consecutive years. Congratulations Lester B. Pearson!