Category Archives: GTA

Maple Creek Public School has a reconciliation gem for teachers

Early this year, Maple Creek Public School (Maple, ON), pulled out all the stops and participated in a Project of Heart learning piece that we couldn’t be more proud of. If you’re a teacher scrolling through this post, you will find the report on Maple Creek’s learning journey a valuable learning resource as a case is made for why it was important for Maple Creek Public to do Project of Heart, then states how they did it and the preparation that was involved. It concludes with a description of their collaborative, school-wide mural display “Bricks of Belonging”, but not before explaining how and what they fund-raised for…’Geronimo Henry’s Dream’. Teacher Heather Naftolin-brandes concludes her school’s report thusly:

“This Bricks of Belonging art piece represents Maple Creek Public Schools’ commitment to reconciliation in Canada. It was a school wide initiative that acknowledges the horrifying and
traumatic effects of the Residential School system on Indigenous Peoples and was created by sharing and learning the truth about our collective history.

As a school, we continue to educate ourselves about the long lasting impact of these schools and are dedicated to learning about Indigenous Peoples both past and present through building relationships. Encouraging children to feel proud and comfortable with their identities is integral to their well being and school is a place where we strongly believe they must feel they belong.”

A heart-felt thank you to Maple Creek Public School in the York Region District School Board for your ongoing contributions to building relationships within your classrooms and beyond. Chi meegwetch.

Pringle Creek P.S. — “End result was astounding”


Sometimes we wonder: is there is a school board in Canada more committed to teaching the truth about the Residential School era than the Durham District School Board in Ontario?

Once again a committed Durham Board teacher, Kimberly Hutt from Pringle Creek Public School, has partnered with Project of Heart to create a powerful learning experience.

Here’s Kimberley, in her own words: Continue reading Pringle Creek P.S. — “End result was astounding”

Port Perry students roll with Project of Heart for 3rd year running

Native Studies and Native Arts students at Port Perry High School recently participated in Project of Heart — for the 3rd year in a row! Seasoned Native Studies and History teacher, Nancy Hamer-Strahl, brought students through the learning module by commemorating the students from Stirland Lake (Ontario), Crystal Bay (Manitoba) and Battleford Industrial School (Saskatchewan). Continue reading Port Perry students roll with Project of Heart for 3rd year running

Halton Catholic students commemorate children of IRSs in Quebec, Northwest Territories, and Ontario.

Fort Providence IRS - Photo courtesy of Library and Archives Canada

Learners in the Halton Catholic District School Board (Ontario) will be able to look back on a memorable day due to Aboriginal Liason Officer Sherry Saevil, who took the time and the energy to make it possible for over 60 students from across the Board to learn about the impact of the Residential Schools on Aboriginal peoples in Canada.

Indigenous children who never returned home from going to Indian Residential Schools in Amos (QC), Fort Providence (NWT), Alexandra School for Girls (Toronto, ON), Cecelia Jeffery (ON), McIntosh (ON), and Spanish (ON) were all remembered through talk, ceremony, and action.


Fenelon Falls Secondary School commemorates the students of George River Federal Hostel

George River Federal Hostel is red dot at top right, closest to boundary with Labrador

Fenelon Falls (Ontario) teacher Linda Zernask recently accompanied her students on a journey of discovery with Project of Heart. Her students uncovered a new and challenging view of recent Canadian history as they listened to Elder Cliff Standingready recall his own experiences at Indian Residential Schools. Continue reading Fenelon Falls Secondary School commemorates the students of George River Federal Hostel

Dolphin Senior School honours the memory of the students who never came home from the Mohawk Institute


Three grade 8 classes at Dolphin Senior School in Mississauga, Ontario, participated in the Project of Heart in the winter of 2013. Students read selections from Shirley Sterling’s book, My Name is Seepeetza (Douglas & McIntyre, 1992), and conducted research on the Indian Residential School closest to them, The Mohawk Institute, in Brantford, Ontario. They then created posters about various topics related to the institute, and decorated and presented their tiles to the class. Continue reading Dolphin Senior School honours the memory of the students who never came home from the Mohawk Institute

Garth Webb Secondary School

At Garth Webb Secondary School in Oakville, Ontario, every Grade 10 student participated in the Project of Heart this year.  Named after a D-Day veteran, Garth Webb Secondary School embraces a culture of active remembrance and respect for all Canadians. The students created their tiles with a specific survivor in mind, after reading first-hand accounts of experiences in residential schools. This experience was made even more powerful by hearing IRS survivor Geronimo Henry speak about his life during his years at Mohawk School in Brantford, ON. For many students, this was their first exposure to the IRS legacy in Canada, and has sparked an interest and appreciation for the issues facing Aboriginal people today.

Williams Parkway Senior Public School rocks Project of Heart

Elder Garry Sault - photo by George Beshiri of the Brampton Guardian

Eileen MacDougald and Lesle McKay are teachers from Williams Parkway Senior Public School in Brampton, Ontario. Working together, Eileen and Leslie integrated Project of Heart into their history class as they dovetailed the themes of Confederation and the settlement of Western Canada with the emergence of the residential school era. Continue reading Williams Parkway Senior Public School rocks Project of Heart