Honouring Memories, Planting Dreams
Honouring Memories, Planting Dreams is a reconciliation event in honour of Indigenous History Month and in solidarity with the Indigenous families and communities
Muslim Children’s Aid and Support Services (MCASS) in partnership with the Native Child and Family Services of Toronto and The Corner, and based on First Nations Child and Family Caring Society event, are planting a new HONOURING MEMORIES, PLANTING DREAMS GARDEN on June 30, 2021!
Honouring Memories, Planting Dreams is a reconciliation event in honour of Indigenous History Month and in solidarity with the Indigenous families and communities whose children were found recently at Kamloops Residential school in BC and the 751 unmarked graves uncovered near former Saskatchewan/Marieval Residential School.
We hope that through this impactful event, children build a connection with and exploration of nature, garden learning, land-based cultural practices and most importantly, work towards reconciliation and healing as a community.
The planting of the heart garden represents a commitment to the reconciliation project and honours the memories of Indigenous children lost to the residential school system. Gardening supplies, snacks & refreshments will be available on-site for all participants.
To register, please contact Emel Tabaku at 647.609.8094 or via Emel.firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope you will join us this summer in planting a heart garden.
We also hope that you’ll join us on Instagram the day before on June 29th as we are incredibly honoured to have Jenna Robar (@jennarobar) speak live. Jenna is passionate about being a leader and change-maker in her communities, both in Mi’kma’ki and in Toronto. She has spent years of her life volunteering for community events, local organizations, and working closely with levels of government for the justice and equality of Indigenous peoples. Jenna is currently working on projects both in Toronto and in Nova Scotia to unite Newcomer youth and Indigenous youth to improve their experiences as vulnerable groups- keeping mental health and wellness as a focus.
Looking Back and Looking Forward: Heart Garden Updates
On June 30 th between 9am – 5pm, we at Muslim Children’s Aid and Support Services, in partnership with the Native Child and Family Services of Toronto, Early ON Child and Family Centre, and St. James Town Community Corner, and based on First Nations Child and Family Caring Society event, planted the Honouring Memories, Planting Dreams garden at 200 Wellesley St. East!
A heartfelt thank you to all the individuals and families who came out to support the planting of Honouring Memories, Planting Dreams. Many thanks to all who came out to plant a flower to honour Residential School survivors, to honour the memories of Indigenous children who lost their lives to the Residential School system and to honour the legacy of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).
Moreover, the planting of the garden represents our commitment as a Muslim community to the reconciliation project and honours National Indigenous History Month and stands in solidarity with the Indigenous families and communities whose children were found recently at Kamloops-Brandon-Cowessess.
We planted a total of 17 flowers in the larger garden space and the smaller garden bed adjacent to the main space at The Corner. Each flower corresponds to an Area of Action under the Truth and Reconciliation Commission as recommended by First Nations Child and Family Caring Society; one blueberry for Child Welfare, asters for Language, lavender for Culture, black-eyed Susan for Health and sedum for Justice. Our flowers are all non-invasive and pollinator friendly. We have placed waterproof placards detailing the name of the flower in English, Anishinaabemowin and Arabic under the Areas of Action Language, Culture, Health and Justice including the garden Introduction placard set up around the garden. Only 2 out of 4 direct Anishinaabemowin translations for the flowers – asters and black-eyed Susan – have been found and the remaining information is yet to be accurately sourced with a placard for Child Welfare – Blueberry needed to be placed. As per our partnership agreement, our beautiful flowers will be watered 3x a week throughout the summer and fall months! Moreover, we are in the process of recruiting four volunteer pollinator garden caretakers.
The Honouring Memories, Planting Dreams serves as a reminder to all that reconciliation is not a one-time activity but requires constant action and effort for it to thrive.
Native Child and Family Services of Toronto brought refreshments and snacks for all participants. We had delicious bannock, homemade blueberry jam, strawberry water, and bottled water available. A smudge and a land acknowledgement were performed by Native Child and Family Services of Toronto staff prior to the planting of each flower to bring good thoughts and tidings to each gardening session.
Apart from the gardening taking place outdoors, a coloring activity station where children would create paper-felt hearts to take home along with coloring in the Spirit Bear Honouring Memories, Planting Dreams sheet (resources provided by FN Caring Society) took place indoors at The Corner. Lastly, brochures that contain TRC’s 42 Calls of Action that cover the Areas of Action of Child Welfare, Justice, Language, Culture, Health and Education were handed out to each participant at the end of the gardening and coloring activities.
Through Honouring Memories, Planting Dreams we at MCASS are hoping to spread awareness about the ongoing inequities faced by Indigenous children and their families among our Muslim settler newcomer communities. MCASS strives to work with Indigenous communities to seek justice for all Indigenous children and families in Canada.
Sending out so much love and gratitude to you all for your wonderful help on June 30th!!
Please come and visit our garden at 200 Wellesley St East, The Corner!
Indigenous – Muslim partnership