Every child has the right to grow up safely at home, get a good education and be healthy and proud of their culture. Have a Heart Day provides all Canadians with an opportunity to work together to ensure that First Nations children do not have to fight for the services that other children enjoy and that they have the necessary tools to allow them to feel proud of their culture and heritage.
On February 10th in support of Have a Heart Day, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children and youth from schools across the National Capital region will join together again this year on Parliament Hill to show their support for equitable culturally-based services that will help them to succeed. Citizens can get involved by sending a Valentine’s Day card or letter supporting the initiative to Prime Minister Justine Trudeau and/or their local MP, or by spreading the word through social media.
In Eastern Ontario, the Enyonkwa’nikonhriyohake’ (Good Minds) Program of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte held a community breakfast on February 5th and asked attendees to sign a letter of support for Have a Heart Day. They are also inviting the public to sign letters of support up until February 12th at the Tyendinaga Community Well-Being Centre located at 50 Meadow Drive, on the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory. The letters of support will be sent to Ottawa.
On February 10th at Highland Shores Children’s Aid staff will be signing valentines which will then be gathered and mailed to the Prime Minister in support of the rights of First Nations children.
Commenting on Have a Heart Day, Mark Kartusch, Executive Director of Highland Shores Children’s Aid said, “By lending our voices to this initiative we can create greater awareness about the issues and challenges that children and families living within aboriginal communities face every day. By lending our support we can help to effect positive change. We encourage community members to send a message to our political leaders so that the gaps that exist today will transform to equal opportunities in the future.”
To learn more about how you can get involved in Have a Heart Day, to send an e-Valentine, or print and sign a valentine, visit the website www.fncaringsociety.com and click on Have a Heart Day. You can also stop by the Tyendinaga Community Well-Being Centre to lend your signature to a letter of support.
For additional information about signing a letter of support for Have a Heart Day contact:
Tracey Gazley (First Nation Child & Youth Wellness Worker), 613-967-0122, Ext. 175.