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Orange hearts represent meaningful support

October 13th, 2021

On September 30th, Canada’s first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, residents and employee care partners at Points West Living Stettler showed their support with hand-painted orange hearts. The community’s recreation team had initially planned something else to mark the day, but…

One-to-one activities only

“We initially wanted to have a drumming circle,” says Recreation Therapist, Lisa Smith, “but our community was on outbreak during the weeks leading up to September 30 and we could only participate in one-to-one activities with residents.”

Little orange heart pins

The solution they came up with was to paint little orange heart pins. For the three days leading up to the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, the recreation team visited each resident and had them paint a heart. Residents and recreation care partners talked about residential schools and the importance of showing recognition and support for reconciliation. Residents enjoyed painting the hearts and wore them on September 30.

“One resident, Lyle Anderson (upper right in above photo), shared that he lived across the river from the Kamloops Residential School,” says Lisa. “He was a part of the Mika-Nika Club which was established in 1961 to promote better knowledge and understanding between Canadians of native and non-native origin. He was a strong advocate and voice in working towards the indigenous children receiving better education.”

Photo: PWL Stettler residents painted their hearts orange to honour and recognize the indigenous children who attended residential schools; (clockwise from left) Elsie Flack, Lyle Anderson, and Lynda Forsyth.

More photos at Flickr: Orange hearts represent meaningful support

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