June is National Indigenous History Month and to recognize the month, the First Nations Child & Family Caring Society of Canada (The Caring Society) is taking part in Honouring Memories, Planting Dreams. Celebrated in May and June, Honouring Memories, Planting Dreams invites people of all ages to plant heart gardens in memory of children lost to the residential school system, to honour residential school Survivors and their families, and act on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) 94 Calls to Action

The TRC Calls to Action address the ongoing impact of residential schools on survivors and their families and advances reconciliation in Canada by outlining needed changes in areas like child welfare, education, health, justice, language, culture and land rights, and more. The Caring Society also offers a child-friendly version of the TRC Calls To Action (HERE) to educate younger generations on reconciliation. Everyone can work towards the Calls to Action. 

Inspired by the heart garden planted by children and survivors during the TRC Closing Ceremonies in June of 2015, heart gardens can be indoors or outdoors; they can be made of decorated paper hearts or include real flowers and can be planted by one person, a family or in a group. The act of planting represents a commitment to reconciliation. As of 2022, only 11 of the TRC 94 Calls to Action have been fully implemented1. We can do better by educating ourselves and holding elected and public officials, institutions, businesses, and non-profit sectors accountable. 

National Indigenous History Month is an important time for all people in Canada. At the Caring Society, we are honoring the lives of those affected by the residential school system. Our theme is Honouring Memories, Planting Dreams,” said Cindy Blackstock, Executive Director at the Caring Society. “For anyone wondering how they can participate, I encourage you to implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action. You can also send a copy of the TRC Calls to Action to your elected officials and ask your elected officials what they are doing to implement these recommendations. Let’s all work together to create that change that survivors deserve.” 

The Caring Society invites people of Canada to take part in Honouring Memories, Planting Dreams with the following actions: 

  • Plant a Heart Garden and register it HERE
  • Take a photo of your Heart Garden and share on social media using the hashtag #HonouringMemoriesPlantingDreams
  • Read the TRC Calls to Action and specifically incorporate actions into your everyday life. The Caring Society has resources on its website to help you take action HERE
  • Send a copy of the TRC Calls to Action to your elected official and ask them what they are doing to implement these recommendations.

We hope you join us this year in honouring the lives of those who did not come home from residential schools by taking action. 

Calls to Action Accountability: A 2021 Status Update on Reconciliation, a report created by the Yellowhead Institute is where this information is from. Their report was authored by Eva Jewell and Ian Mosby. The document is free online and reachable here: 

ABOUT FIRST NATIONS CHILD & FAMILY CARING SOCIETY OF CANADA (THE CARING SOCIETY) The Caring Society, run by Executive Director, Dr. Cindy Blackstock, works to ensure the safety and well-being of First Nations children, youth and their families through education initiatives, public policy campaigns and providing quality resources to support communities. Using a reconciliation framework that addresses contemporary hardships for Indigenous families in ways that uplift all Canadians, the Caring Society champions culturally based equity for First Nations children and their families so that they can grow up safely at home, be healthy, achieve their dreams, celebrate their languages and culture and be proud of who they are. The Caring Society proudly works with our partners in Canada and around the world to promote the rights of Indigenous children. 

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