TRC Workshop held in Allan, Sask.
By Anne Moldenhauer
ALLAN, Sask. — St. Aloysius Parish in Allan held a Truth and Reconciliation
workshop June 6 in preparation for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
(TRC) national event ocurring in Saskatoon June 21-24.
The parish workshop was hosted by the Catholic Women’s
League and supported by the Knights of Columbus of St. Aloysius Parish.
Facilitator Lynette Brossart presented some of the history of the Indian
Residential Schools and the experiences of survivors.
In commemoration, those in attendance participated in a
national Project of Heart (projectofheart.ca) endeavour. Participants
decorated a number of tiles — each tile honouring the life of one child who died as
a result of the residential school experience. The tiles were brightly
decorated with messages such as “love and peace,” “healing
to grow,” “blessing on all nations,” and “let
us all be one in spirit.”
The decorated tiles were sent to Ottawa where arrangements will be made
for them to be blessed through a ceremonial smudging by a First Nations
elder. The finished project will eventually be presented to the Museum
of Human Rights in Winnipeg to become a part of history.
Project of Heart was a featured activity during the Truth
and Reconciliation Commission’s first National Event in Winnipeg. The creator and
co-ordinator of the project — Governor General award-winning teacher
Sylvia Smith — was born and raised in Allan and graduated from
Allan School, so the workshop participants have a community connection
“Passion and empathy were felt as we decorated the tiles in memory
of the dear children who had lost their lives,” said one CWL participant,
“As a followup, we accomplished the important social
justice piece of putting our words into action. It was important to do
our part, to show that we too wished to help deal with the injustices
of what happened. Moving forward, may we all live in one spirit with
unity for all!”
As a form of reconciliation, all those present were invited to sign two
petitions to support justice for all Aboriginal people. The petitions
were: Stolen Sisters: Amnesty International and To Endorse the UN Declaration
on the Rights of Indigenous People.
Volunteers for the Truth and Reconciliation national event came forward as a result of the workshop. Participants could take pamphlets and other information home for further use.