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Heart Garden takes over UM Quad for third annual National Day for Truth and Reconciliation – UM Today

by ahnationtalk on September 28, 202371 Views

September 28, 2023 — 310. That’s the number of orange hearts that make up the commemorative heart garden planted in the quad at the University of Manitoba’s Fort Garry campus. Each one represents the memory of a child lost to the residential school system, while also honouring Survivors and offering a commitment to reconciliation.

“The intention of the heart garden on campus is to spark conversation amongst the greater UM community,” says Kayla Lariviere, who chairs a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Committee at UM. “If we can get peoples’ attention and get people talking, that’s an important step.”

Canada’s inaugural heart garden initiative took place at Rideau Hall in Ottawa as part of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s closing ceremonies on June 3, 2015. Since then, organizations, institutions and individuals have planted heart gardens across the country to join in reconciliation.

When asked what people can do as individuals to show reconciliation, Indigenous Student Centre Elder-in-Residence Carl Stone offers two ways.

“The first thing you have to do as an individual is personalize it,” says Stone. “It’s not just about being sorry this happened and saying sorry all the time. You need to make it something that’s your own. Something that means something to you. And secondly, you need to tell yourself the truth.”

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