First Event: Peterborough Public Library (June 4, 2022)
The Peterborough Public Library invited the community to commemorate Indigenous History Month on Saturday, June 4 for Project of Heart: An Exploration of the Legacy of Residential Schools. This inter-generational Truth and Reconciliation activity was open to adults and families with children ages 10+ and ran from 10:30 am to 12:00 noon.
In this interactive program, community members learned about the history and legacy of residential schools from Project of Heart facilitator, Nancy Hamer Strahl, and Residential School Survivor, Mary Kelly. Participants commemorated the lives of children and families affected by Residential Schools by creating two small art tiles– one to keep and one to add to the community art project at the library as starting points for continued discussion and learning.
Second Event: Ajax Public Library (September 30, 2022)
Ajax Public Library honoured the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, where we remember the lost children and Survivors of residential schools, their families, and communities. In this interactive program, participants learned about the history and legacy of residential schools from Project of Heart facilitator, Nancy Hamer Strahl, and Residential School Survivor, Mary Kelly. Participants created two small art tiles to commemorate the lives of children and families affected by Residential Schools – one to keep and one to add to the community reconciliation project as starting points for continued discussion and learning.
Project of Heart is an initiative that calls all Canadians to action, through social justice endeavors, to change our present and future history collectively. The Library encourages their community to learn more about Indigenous history and heritage. The continued tradition of oral histories through storytelling will ensure that Indigenous peoples’ truths are not erased and historical accuracy is preserved.
Third Event: Annual Metis Heritage Celebration (June 25, 2022)
Annual Metis Heritage Celebration participated in Project of Heart in the 13th Annual Metis Heritage Celebration on June 25 at the Children’s Arena in Oshawa. This free family event celebrated Metis culture with Indigenous vendors and food, storytelling, cultural workshops, children’s activities, arts and crafts and musical performances by fiddlers, singers, drummers, and jiggers.
The workshop was facilitated by Kathy Morgan who told the story of her grandmother who was a student at the Qu’Appelle Indian Residential School (LeBret) for 3 years. Nancy Hamer Strahl helped the participants create a commemorative pin to honour Metis Residential School survivors and their families. The story of the Metis children in Residential schools is often forgotten. It was an opportunity for the Oshawa and Durham Region Metis council to offer its members an opportunity to learn more about their history and heritage.