This Valentine’s Day, children and young adults from schools across the National Capital Region are gathered on Parliament Hill to celebrate Have A Heart Day. Schools and communities across the country are also hosting their own Have A Heart Day celebrations.

So what exactly is Have A Heart Day?

Initiated by the First Nations Child & Family Caring Society of Canada (“the Caring Society”), Have A Heart Day is a youth-led reconciliation campaign. As described by the Caring Society, Have A Heart Day aims to unite “caring Canadians to help ensure First Nations children have the services they need to grow up safely at home, get a good education, be healthy, and be proud of who they are.” It is a celebration of love and fairness for all First Nations children.

More than 5,500 Canadians campaigned and celebrated the event last year, including more than 600 young individuals who gathered on Parliament Hill to call on government officials and all Canadians to have a heart for First Nations youth. Last year’s event on Parliament Hill saw young people reading letters, sharing poems and singing songs. These served as reminders and calls to action to support Indigenous youth and help give them the childhood they deserve.

Have A Heart Day is happening today on Parliament Hill from 10:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. If you’d like to join the celebration but live elsewhere, please click here for information on other Have A Heart events taking place across the country.

The Caring Society has also provided the following ideas to support the ongoing campaign:

•    Send a card or letter supporting Have a Heart Day to the Prime Minister and your Member of Parliament.

•    Bring reconciliation into the classroom to get your students ready. Do Project of Heart, organize a Blanket Exercise workshop, or screen a film. For other great ideas, visit the Shannen's Dream School Resources page

•    Spread the word through social media like YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook. Use the hashtag #HaveaHeartDay and/or #JourneeAyezUnCoeur

Please click here to access the Caring Society’s website for more information and resources.