The DRCSS is actively pursuing actionable ways in which to engage in learning, in response to the call to action recommendations by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. Our school’s path to reconciliation begins with listening to our Indigenous leaders and youth with the intention to understand. We recognize and embrace our responsibility as educators to promote Indigenous voices, perspectives and knowledge.
The DRCSS reached out to the group, Four Sacred Hearts. Four Scared Hearts is an Indigenous-led group of four men who provide healing and learning and bring spiritual solutions to youth. Their intention is to share personal stories and traditional teachings to our youth in the hope of preventing others from finding connection through criminal and gang culture.
On April 26th, 2023, the DRCSS was honoured to welcome Timothy Barron, Glen Hondz, Terrence Morin, and Jeremy Raven of Four Sacred Hearts.
Four Scared Hearts spoke to their unique yet all too common shared experience of poverty, youth justice, child welfare and broken education. They shared words of hope, recovery and above all, resiliency from a system that was designed to fail them.
The men of Four Sacred Hearts beautifully used storytelling to connect with our students and leaders. Within the stories we learned of the men’s histories, of cultural etiquette, and the power of spiritual beliefs. At the heart of their stories was a lesson in relationship - whether relationship with self, others, or environment.
We received the wisdom and perspective that they had to offer our staff and students and are hopeful that our youth will take this opportunity to imagine a life of meaningful community connection. DRCSS students and staff provided feedback related to the presentation and the response has been phenomenal:
“It was amazing.”- Avery B., student
“It was a good presentation, a good message.” - Parker F., student
“I feel connected to my ways and I know it can be different.” - Josh G., student
“I had the privilege of attending “The Four Sacred Hearts” presentation at the DRCSS with our students. The presentation started with each of the four men sharing their own personal stories. All of them spoke of intergenerational trauma, addiction, relationships, and abuse in a very vulnerable way. In the age of social media and readily accessible information, I think we can often find ourselves consuming stories such as these on the daily. We can be quick to hear the story, applaud, and move on with our day. With “The Four Sacred Hearts,” I think it’s important that we pause to recognize how important their stories and message are. We need to acknowledge that as Indigenous men, they face different barriers than many others in our society. Given Canada’s dark history and relationship with First Nations and Indigenous peoples of Canada, the choice that they’ve made to share their lives so publicly and honestly should not be taken lightly. If we are to move forward in truth and reconciliation, I believe that it is important for us to make more space for this kind of representation in our schools. The teenage years are essential in building confidence and self-esteem, and we can support our youth in this by surrounding them with positive adults and role models that they can relate to.” – Ms. Glesmann, DRCSS Teacher
“The message relayed by the men with Four Sacred Hearts was moving - it was a message of hope and of perseverance. Something youth need to hear; they are valuable and valued especially with our community’s current climate of violence. Often times, youth who are experiencing family conflict, whether it is substance misuse, family violence, or insecurities such as food or housing, education is viewed as the lowest priority when they are trying to survive their current circumstances. This is the time education and their school for learning opportunities becomes more important. I believe these men gave that message loudly and clearly. Thank you for the opportunity to be present for it.” – Lori Bicklmeier, DART (Dauphin At-Risk Teens)
Four Sacred Hearts aim to build a non-profit group with the goal of spreading their message of hope and resiliency by way of youth programming, one-on-one counselling and community outreach programs that provide resources and education through Indigenous knowledge. The DRCSS hopes to continue working collaboratively with Four Scared Hearts, as we know that our students and community deserve to hear their message.