Project Of Heart

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Project of Heart

Project of Heart (POH) teaches about the history of the residential school system in Canada using an artistic approach to commemorate the people and families who were, and still are, affected by this system. POH was originally created by University of Regina (U of R) graduate student, Sylvia Smith, as part of her Master of Education program as a way to address the lack of teaching tools on Indigenous history in the school system.

Project of Heart:

  • examines the history and legacy of the residential school system forced upon Indigenous people in Canada in order to seek the truth about that history and acknowledge the extent of loss to former students, their families and communities;
  • commemorates, with the use of artistry and Indigenous ceremony, the lives of the thousands of Indigenous children who died as a result of the residential school experience;
  • builds on our understanding of how residential schools contributes to the intergenerational trauma experienced across the Indigenous population of Canada;
  • calls all Canadians to action, through social justice endeavors, to recognize our current as well as historic colonialist practices;
  • builds right relationships, based upon truth and reconciliation, amongst all peoples with the intention to transform Canada from a colonized land to one built upon mutual respect and full autonomy for all.


Luther College finances the Project of Heart eight-week evening workshops and encourages participation from faculty, staff, students, and community members as one of our institution’s responses to the Truth and Reconciliation’s 94 Calls to Action.  To date, over 200 people have participated in Project of Heart at Luther College at the University of Regina.

“I was given the opportunity to participate in an engaged learning component and I jumped at the chance because I knew that getting out and doing something would be more interesting and rewarding to me than hours of research on the computer. Although there were many options, I chose to participate in Project of Heart because Aboriginal (sic) history is a very significant yet often ignored part of Canada….This was a way for me to participate in acts of reconciliation and acknowledge past wrongdoings. Project of Heart allowed me to be part of a group with a shared goal and to have practical experiences be a foundation of my learning.”
Mirella Matenda, POH participant

For more information check out:

Project Teaches Residential School History

Justice For Indigenous Women

To learn more about Project of Heart, please visit their website at projectofheart.ca.