Education for Reconciliation: BCTF Launches Project Of The Heart, New Resource on Residential School History in BC

With the release this fall of a new learning resource on the history and legacy of residential schools in British Columbia, the BCTF is continuing its work toward justice and equity for Aboriginal students, teachers, and communities.

“It’s so important that now, following on the landmark report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission last June, we provide teachers with tools and support to bring this tragic part of our shared history alive in classrooms across the province,” said BCTF President Jim Iker.

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“It is precisely because education was the primary tool of oppression of Aboriginal people, and miseducation of all Canadians, that we have concluded that education holds the key to reconciliation.” ~ Justice Murray Sinclair, Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.




Project of Heart: Illuminating the hidden history of Indian Residential Schools in BC is available as a 40-page publication and as an online ebook which contains links to a great range of teaching resources including videos, original historical documents, timelines, classroom activities, and more.

The resource contains moving testimonials from elders who endured the abuses of the residential school system and survived, as well as the story of one girl among the estimated 6,000 children who did not survive. It also profiles two key historical characters: the federal bureaucrat who promoted the Indian residential school system and the doctor who blew the whistle on this national crime. As well, it looks at the Harper government’s apology to residential school survivors and the lack of follow up to this historic gesture. The courage and resilience of the children in the face of profound neglect and abuse, and the ongoing resistance of Aboriginal people to the government’s assimilationist policies are also important themes.

Discover A Range of Teaching Tools. The book, Project of Heart, is available online at  and on the TeachBC  website. For copies in print, please contact Gail Stromquist, BCTF Aboriginal education co-ordinator, at

(reprinted with the premission of the BCTF)