We gathered, we listened, we shared, we planted, we remembered. For the fourth year in a row members of Immanuel, Wetaskiwin gathered to remember the children that went to Indian Residential Schools and to especially honour those who did not return to their families. Adults and children decorated small wooden tiles with images and words to represent their feelings about residential schools and the impact that they are still having today. These tiles are going to be gathered together to make a permanent memorial to go inside the church.
When all the tiles were decorated we went outside to plant the Heart Garden. This is a permanent garden on the church lawn in the shape of a heart. We planted flowers in the four colours of the Medicine Wheel - white, yellow, red and blue. Before the planting the children careful washed off the decorated rocks from a previous year's activity. These rocks were placed carefully back in the garden following the planting of the flowers.
It is the hope of the Reconciliation Team and all the parishioners of Immanuel that the garden will be a place that others in the community see and remember the children who went to residential schools. To remember the children is to honour them and to not forget the role the church played in participating in residential schools. It is our way to say we are sorry and that we won't forget what happened.