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Langdon School gets the POH habit


Langdon School in Southern Alberta has now partnered two years in a row with Project of Heart. This year two classrooms were invited to create gestures of reconciliation, and Elder Randy Bottle — an IRS survivor — came to Langdon to share his own memories of the Residential School experience.

Teacher Susanne Moskal shares this report: Continue reading Langdon School gets the POH habit

Massive turn-out for Truth and Reconciliation Education Day at University of Regina

A wonderful story from yesterday’s Regina Leader-Post, with video featuring survivor Eugene Arcand and Charlene Bearhead from the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.

Teaching about the Residential School Era is still not a mandatory part of the Saskatchewan K-12 curriculum but thanks to the events of the day, 1500 students and teachers went home having experienced a crash course on Canada’s hidden history. The Faculty of Education at the University of Regina organized the day’s events and Project of Heart was also on the program; students decorated tiles as witness pieces.

Our thanks go out to Dean of Education Jennifer Tupper for taking the lead in organization a superb day of Truth and Reconciliation!

Commissioner Marie Wilson and McGill students use POH to send Kairos message to Province of Québec

Tiles from Dr. Marie Wilson's class, McGill University.

This academic term saw an opportunity for students at McGill University in Montreal to learn about Project of Heart. Dr. Marie Wilson, Commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, now McGill’s “Professor of Practice in the Global Governance Institute for the Study of International Development” within the Institute for the Study of International Development, arranged for Project of Heart be presented to her students. Her course, “The Healing Imperative of Truth and Reconciliation” is taught to students who come from a wide range of disciplines and an impressive array of life-experiences. Continue reading Commissioner Marie Wilson and McGill students use POH to send Kairos message to Province of Québec

University of Alberta Medical Students Learn About IRS era


This past term at the University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine saw first and second year students participate in a 12-hour Aboriginal health elective course. As a part of their course, students learned about the role of culture in health care, visited the Edmonton Native Healing Centre to learn about smudging, and attended a workshop on residential schools and inter-generational trauma. Continue reading University of Alberta Medical Students Learn About IRS era

Zombie history text refuses to die

Face of a Nation

It’s 426 pages long, was published in the year 2000, and it just might be the artifact that launched Project of Heart. It’s “Canada: Face of Nation”, by Gage Educational Publishing, and it manages to give exactly 2 paragraphs to the national shame that was the Indian Residential School era.

It was this same “Face of a Nation” text that had students in POH founder Sylvia Smith’s classroom in 2007 scratching their heads and wondering where to go for a real history lesson when they attempted to do their own research on the IRS era. Continue reading Zombie history text refuses to die

Bishop’s University opens its doors to Project of Heart

Education students at Bishop’s University’s recently opened their hearts and minds to learning about the Indian Residential Schools. What you are about to see is Professor Lisa Taylor’s class fully engaging in visual design, art education, and the history of the Indian Residential Schools era. Ena Greyeyes, Plains Cree artist and Elder (an IRS survivor from the St. Michael’s Indian Residential School in Duck Lake, Saskatchewan) spoke to them about the arduous but inspiring process of healing the intergenerational trauma that is part and parcel of the IRS legacy. Students in the course had already studied the impact of ongoing settler-colonial policies in Canada and personal family histories of implication.

Charlene Bearhead, Education Lead at the National Research Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, launched the project in October by introducing Project of Heart to all levels of teacher-education candidates in the Bishop’s programme, and from the beginning, they were hooked.

Dr. Lisa Taylor’s students have put together an incredible slide-show that tells the story behind each decorated tile. You may even click on parts to hear students speaking. Several Aboriginal students joined the class and painted tiles in response to the Project. Click the link to see, hear, and feel!

BCTF’s Project of Heart ebook launch: coverage in Vancouver Sun



As the Truth and Reconciliation Commision has released its findings this past June — and published 94 calls to action — the timing of the BCTF’s initiative couldn’t have been better. The book is available free online.

The existence of this amazing resource is down to the commitment and inspiration of editor Gail Stromquist, the Assistant Director for Aboriginal Education and project lead for BCTF. Click here for the Sun’s story.

Many thanks going out to the BCTF teachers for their efforts in moving along the truth and reconciliation movement!

Parkdale United Church youth participate in POH

ParkdaleAs the attached bulletin excerpt describes, youth at the Ottawa’s Parkdale United Church recently had the good fortune to learn about Indian Residential Schools from an IRS Survivor, Mary-Lou Iatail, a Cree elder from Attawapiskat.

Our thanks going out to Elder Mary-Lou and and the Parkdale United Church senior youth group for their active engagement in Project of Heart and taking the reconciliation challenge to heart. Continue reading Parkdale United Church youth participate in POH

Chestermere Lake remembers: Alberta middle school students have hope for a better future


Our thanks to teacher Dana Witte who sent us this heart-warming report about Project of Heart and her Grade 9 students at Chestermere Lake Middle School:

Two classes of grade 9 students, 9W and 9N, participated in the Project of Heart in January, 2015. We were learning about collective rights in Canada and spent time exploring the impact of residential schools on the culture and identity of our First Nations people. Students were surprised at the fact that the Canadian government at the time had made such questionable choices. They expressed regret and empathy, and noted how our indigenous people had suffered as a result. The art that was produced on wooden tiles is reflective of their respect for our First Nations and is a symbol of their hope for a better future.

Chestermere Lake is the latest Alberta school to partner with Project of Heart; click here to see a listing of other schools and workplaces in the province that have partnered with POH.