Project of Heart was invited to the University of Ottawa this past week, and made a presentation to a class of teacher candidates enrolled in Dr. Patricia Palulis’ “Holistic and Non-Traditional Approaches to Education” course. Thirty-five keen educators were on hand to hear from Sylvia Smith, coordinator of the project, who explained why it is important for our learners to know about our shared history, and to understand the reasons as to why this history has been marginalized, glossed over, or not taught at all.
Students decorated over a hundred tiles, each tile representing the life of a child who never returned home from the Birtle Indian Residential School in Manitoba. They were moved by the presentation; in fact, by the end of the morning, many were so enthusiastic about “walking the talk of reconciliation” that they signed up to witness a session of the Federal Court, where from February 13th to the 15th, an historic hearing is taking place.
Human Rights Tribunal Chair Shirish Chotalia’s decision to dismiss a Tribunal discrimination case regarding the chronic underfunding of First Nations children on reserves is being appealed to the Federal Court by the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society and the Assembly of First Nations.
Dr. Pat Palulis and many of her students will be in court and bearing witness as the case is heard. Bravo to the Holistic Education class for your caring, and “Having a Heart”!