Western Community Garden group and school students to create heart garden

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Reconciliation project involves Sheshegwaning, Gore Bay elementary school students

GORE BAY—The Western Manitoulin Community Garden (WMCG), in collaboration with Kids Can Grow, and students from Charles C. McLean Public School (Gore Bay) and St. Joseph’s School (Sheshegwaning First Nation) are participating in a reconciliation project.

“We will be creating a heart garden,” said Sarah Earley of WMCG, last week. “I was talking to some Indigenous women about a reconciliation project, and one of the calls to action for reconciliation is creating a heart garden. We felt this was a good way, and time, to bring together students from St. Joseph’s and the C.C. McLean Go Green Club to bring together and plant a garden. And to create hearts.”

One of the Calls to Action for reconciliation is creating a heart garden to remember those who were affected by the residential school system.

A ceremony will take place on June 14. The school children will be decorating hearts to put in the garden which will be created in the shape of a heart and they will be planting pollinator flowers to support the bees as well as planting the seeds of reconciliation.

Ms. Earley told The Expositor, “Verna Hardwick, an elder from Sheshegwaning, will be performing an honour song and a ceremony and teaching, focussing around reconciliation.” She pointed out Ted Smith has donated plants for the event and the United Church has also been supportive of the project.

“The garden will be in the shape of a heart, with wood hearts painted and decorated by students with words like ‘love’ and ‘hope’ on them.

The WMCG is grateful to the McLaughlin family for the use of the land and acknowledges that the WMCG sits on the ancestral lands of the Anishinaabe.