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As a group of adults and children gathered at Immanuel, Wetaskiwin on Saturday, June 15 to plant their Heart Garden a question was asked: who do we remember as we come together to learn? Gloria Rogers, a member of the parish’s Reconciliation Team, shared how her own mother had been taken to Residential School where they cut her hair and told her she could not speak in her own language. She returned home from that school broken inside. This is why we need to remember Residential Schools and the damage they did to First Nations communities.

We planted our garden with flowers in the colours of the medicine wheel: blue/purple, yellow, white and red. In the centre of the garden we have sage, mint and lavender - some of the medicines we have learned about. We all enjoyed getting our hands dirty as the plants went in and then trying to not get wet and some of the children took turns watering the plants. As we stood back and took a look we remembered those who went to Residential Schools and in particular those who did not return.

Each year the Reconciliation Team at Immanuel has provided crafts to go along with planting of the garden. Gloria showed everyone how to make a dreamcatcher using paper plates. She taught us that the bead in the middle is to catch the bad dreams; the good dreams from Creator come through the web.

This was the 5th annual Heart Garden event held at Immanuel. We will continue to gather, to plant and to remember the Anglican church’s part in the Residential School system and to say we are sorry and to work towards reconciliation.