Who can make a heart garden?
Hearts can be made by anyone of all ages and backgrounds. Heart gardens can be indoors or outdoors; they can be made of decorated paper hearts or include real flowers and medicines. What’s important is to be creative, and speak from the heart. Before getting your hands dirty, take the opportunity to learn together with your students or community group about the history of residential schools and their ongoing impacts. The following websites offer good starting points:
- National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation
- Project of Heart - Resources
- Shannen's Dream - Resources for Educators
- KAIROS: Winds of Change and Blanket Exercise
What should I plant in my heart garden?
In addition to planting hearts in a garden, you may want to consult with a local Elder if you would like to plant sacred medicines in the garden to create a living memorial for residential school students and your community’s shared commitment to reconciliation. Examples of sacred medicines include: tobacco, sage, cedar, and sweetgrass. If you decide to plant sacred medicines, be sure to ask the Elder(s) how to care for the plants so that they can grow up to be healthy and proud over the years.
How can I get started?
Below you will find instructions on how to create a heart garden, including a template. Don't forget to register your heart garden to show how Canadians are acknowledging our shared histories and celebrating our collective commitment to reconciliation.
#TRCHeartGardens across Canada
- Aboriginal Multi-Media Society's Heart Garden Gallery
- Article on the Heart Garden at Agassiz Christian School
If you have any questions or would like to share articles or photos on our website, please contact Robin McLeod at firstname.lastname@example.org