Healing Garden to be Created in St. Albert

A new Healing Garden is being created along the Red Willow Trail. It will be located on the north side of the Sturgeon River, across from St. Albert Place. The Healing Garden will acknowledge and recognize the survivors of Indian Residential Schools in St. Albert.

“The Healing Garden project is supported by the City of St. Albert,” says St. Albert Mayor Nolan Crouse. “It is one of the ways we can answer the call to action from The Truth and Reconciliation Commission.”

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) has asked all orders of government and all churches to get involved in the healing and reconciliation process for residential school survivors.

The garden is meant to be a therapeutic place of reconciliation. It is hoped the garden will bring awareness, education and cultural teachings to the community. Construction of the garden is expected to begin in spring 2016. A sign will be placed at the site of the future garden in the coming weeks.

The Healing Garden is a community project led by a planning committee consisting of survivors of Indian Residential Schools, representatives from the First Nations and Métis communities, the United Church, the Catholic Church, the general community and the City of St. Albert.

“We are fortunate to have Elder Tony Arcand helping guide the Healing Garden project,” says Mayor Crouse. “Members of Elder Arcand’s family attended a residential school, and this project will help the public learn more about their experiences and how they can support the healing process.”

The original inspiration for a healing garden came from Maggie Hodgson, a key advocate for healing and reconciliation in our community through programs such as Canada’s National Day of Healing and Reconciliation, and community members James Ravenscroft and Wayne McCutcheon. St. Albert is home to a significant Métis and First Nations population. It was the location of two Indian Residential Schools, one Roman Catholic and one Protestant.

For more information visit Healing Garden.  If you are interested in making a personal donation to the project, please contact Vineeta Dasoar, with the City of St. Albert’s Cultural Services department, at 780-418-6664.

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