One heart at a time, Fredericton Grandmother's art tribute

Karen LeBlanc sews a running stitch into a heart -- she says it makes her think of all the steps Indigenous children took on their way to residential schools.

The Fredericton grandmother is not a member of the Indigenous community, but her granddaughter is Mi'kmaw.

"It was pretty hard and I kept thinking that I'd like to do something but I don't know what, and I woke up one morning at four in the morning and I went, I know what I have to do, I had been making these other little hearts that I sell," said Karen LeBlanc.

A fibre artist by trade, LeBlanc says the hearts represent hope and healing, so she started giving them away.

"I started doing them a few weeks ago when I part of a fibre arts network residency for the city so it's kind of, it's a project that keeps expanding," she said.

LeBlanc and her granddaughter took the hearts to a local park this week and handed them out to strangers to spark conversation and remembrance of the children who were lost.

"I want people to hang them in the trees and to think about a child because there was so many children that died in residential school alone and I don't know I just have this sense that I want people to send light and love to a child," LeBlanc said.

It's been a way for LeBlanc to bond with her 6 year old granddaughter, Araminta.

"Minta said yup you can hang it on a tree, I was so proud of her she got right into the project I think it meant almost as much to her as it means to me," she said.

LeBlanc plans to hand out her next batch of hearts this Thursday in front of Fredericton city hall during a noon concert, and at the Boyce Farmers Market on Saturday.