Healing and Commemoration

The Healing and Commemoration Collection was launched on The Rooms website on September 2, 2020 to provide former students of Labrador and Newfoundland residential schools the opportunity to add their voices to the National conversation of Truth and Reconciliation. Guided by former students and in partnership with Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, their stories told in their own words have been made available in audio, video and written format so that everyone can access and hear them to learn and to start moving towards healing and reconciliation.

Advisory: Contains strong language and mature subject matter
kamatsiagit: una takugatsak uKâpiluappâjuk, sugusinnut nâlattaujutsaungituk
Tshitapatimuk mashinaikan ume: tshipa tshi takun eka minuat aimun ute mak eka shuk ui uapatimek tshekuan





Healing Hearts: Connecting the Heart Garden to Healing and Commemoration


This activity honors all Former Students of Labrador and Newfoundland Residential Schools.  It is intended for adults and children to further understand and participate in reconciliation, spread awareness and education about residential schools in the province and to foster acknowledgement and understanding towards those who attended the schools and their families.

Children can sometimes be surprised or sad by some of the facts of our history. Share your thoughts together and let them know that by learning about this sad part of our past, we are helping to have a better future.


Healing Hearts Activity:

  1. Learn about the first Heart Garden in Newfoundland and Labrador  http://ow.ly/YxB450Abxjy
  2. Draw and cut out a paper heart – Hearts can be made by everyone!
  3. Color it pink and decorate it! Print a message of hope on your heart for others to read.
  4. Attach the paper heart to a planting stick (a wooden skewer will work too). The stick should be able to be inserted in the ground deep enough that it will hold up the heart in the Heart Garden and not be easily knocked over or blown around by the wind.
    Each paper heart will honor the life of a child who attended a residential school.
  5. Visit the Heart Garden on the grounds of Government House in-person if possible or visit it virtually: http://ow.ly/33JT50Abxol
  6. Plant your paper heart in the Heart Garden (permission has been granted by the Honourable Judy M. Foote, Lieutenant Governor of NL) or plant it in your own garden if you cannot visit in person.
  7. Take a photo and tag The Rooms and Government House social media pages:
             Facebook: @TheRoomsNL      Facebook:  @JudyFooteLG
             Twitter: @TheRooms_NL         Twitter: @judy_foote 
             Instagram: @therooms_nl        Instagram: @lgjudymfoote
  8. Learn about the Healing and Commemoration Collection as you enjoy the quiet of the Garden.
  9. Take the opportunity to learn together with your family, students or community group about the history of residential schools and their ongoing impacts. Let’s ensure this “history will never be forgotten.”


Header Image: The Rooms Provincial Archives Division, IGA 14-247, Three girls writing at a table, Cartwright, 1959 / Joan P. Bathelt, International Grenfell Association photograph collection

Logo Artwork: "Flight of Resilience" by Lisa Learning