The students at Georgian Bay Secondary School, under the leadership of teacher Nancy-Jean Lahn, embarked on a semester-long exploration of the First Nations, Metis, and Inuit culture and history. Project of Heart was easily incorporated into the classroom learning as the students commemorated the lives lost at St. Albert IRS in Alberta. The students took what they were learning with the utmost seriousness, and felt a kinship with them that went beyond book learning. Stephanie McKibbon, one of Lahn’s students, said, “The tiles were a great way to express what we’ve learned and how we feel. It made residential schools and everything associated with them seem more real. It was the highlight of the course.”
Students decided to exercise their civic responsibilities by partnering with the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society , and organized a walk for the “Our Dreams Matter Too” campaign. The actions of the students, working to support First Nations youth in their struggle for equity in education, health, and child welfare, encouraged active reflection on behalf of the students. While planning the walk, one student said, “It is hard to believe that people can survive these experiences, and still find hope for the future. I wonder if I could do that.” It is clear that Lahn’s students used their hearts and spirits to guide their journey into learning, knowing, and acting for justice. The students of Georgian Bay will always remember the students of St. Albert IRS. Project of Heart congratulates them for their hard work and efforts!