Students at Pacific Coast School have partnered with Prince Rupert Middle School students for the Gyeksm Goot, Sm’algyax for Calm Heart program to learn about consent and healthy relationships. The weekly sessions are funded by the RCMP and DP World. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)

Students at Pacific Coast School have partnered with Prince Rupert Middle School students for the Gyeksm Goot, Sm’algyax for Calm Heart program to learn about consent and healthy relationships. The weekly sessions are funded by the RCMP and DP World. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)

Calm hearts teach healthy relationships and consent

Gyeksm Goot program has 20 students at two schools partnered to learn about relationship boundaries

Students at Pacific Coast School have partnered with Prince Rupert Middle School students to learn about consent and healthy relationships in the Gyeksm Goot or Calm Heart project.

Jeremy Janz, principal of Pacific Coast School said the project’s which is funded in collaboration with the RCMP and DP World is aimed to engage youth to consider the ideas of consent and healthy relationships. The program pairs students from both schools into pods in a weekly session where different topics are studied and discussed. The end result may be t-shirts, posters and a website providing resources on healthy relationships with directions where to get help if needed.

“We start out with lunch so everybody can come in, and we have that togetherness because breaking bread is important,” he said.

The atmosphere is casual so conversations and talk about relationship building can flow into the workshop activities which are followed by a discussion period.

School staff, counsellors, the Indigenous Education Dept. are all assisting in the project which runs from May 5 to June 9 including the 20 students, 10 from each school which runs one day a week for half a day in the Civic Centre.

“We thought it would be great to have that multi-generational interaction to team these kids up so that we can enhance the learning for everyone,” Janz said

Janz said students are enjoying the program interactions, with a contingent of RCMP officers attending one of the sessions to assist in breaking down barriers and stigmatization in ways that are healthy. Another session involved defining personal space where the students worked with tape measures and learned about personal boundaries. They also learned about handling frustration with the exercise of stabbing a potato with a straw.

“Another thing would be healthy conflict resolution. So, how do we talk to each other rather than scream at each other or yell at each other, or ignore each other and pretend it never happened,” he said.


K-J Millar | Journalist
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