Young learners at Brier Park Public “touched by IRS stories”

– Click image to see slideshow of other tiles –

They were as young as Grade 4 but as the above collection of sad faces shows, their emotions were engaged at Brantford’s Brier Park public this spring as teacher Julie Lumax incorporated Project of Heart at her school by commemorating the students who lost their lives at northern Ontario’s Fort William Indian Residential School.

What the grade 4 and grade 6 participants learned, in their own words:

” It wasn’t fair that Aboriginal children were forced to go to Residential Schools”

“It wasn’t fair that they had to change their names to English names.”

“It wasn’t fair that the teachers got good food and the children got burnt toast.”

“Not everyone is the same. People are equal and should be treated equally.”

“Respect and celebrate differences.”

“Be part of the solution and stand up for others.”

Some great resources used  included As Long As the Rivers Flow and Shin Chi’s Canoe, and Jule reports that “our students were so touched by the stories presented in both these books, particularly Shin Chi’s Canoe.  Our discussions revealed such compassion in the students. An Elder living in the community shared some of his culture with the students when the tiles were smudged after decoration.”

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