Wed, 22 Jun 2022
On June 22, the Town of Oakville and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation (MCFN) unveiled the first orange crosswalk in Oakville.
Mayor Rob Burton and Carolyn King, on behalf of MCFN and the Moccasin Identifier Project, were joined by CAO Jane Clohecy, members of Town Council, Sherry Saevil of Grandmother’s Voice and community members to commemorate the official unveiling at Thomas and Church streets in downtown Oakville.
The crosswalk has been painted orange in honour of children of the residential school system. In the coming months, the intersection will also feature a utility cabinet covered in a Moccasin Identifier Project design of four moccasins representative of the four linguistic groups in Ontario and a permanent interpretive sign. The sign, which will be installed at the southeast corner of Thomas and Church streets will provide the public with not only the opportunity to reflect on generational impact, trauma and oppression endured by Indigenous peoples in Canada as a result of the residential school system, but learn more about the treaty lands that Oakville exists on and Indigenous culture.
The unveiling was followed by a heritage walk lead by Indigenous Knowledge Guide Stephen Paquette and Sherry Saevil of Grandmother’s Voice to raise awareness of the legacy of residential schools, working being done in the community today, and the history of the Treaty Land on which Oakville exists, and the truth behind Treaties 22 and 14.
The town will continue to seek ways to demonstrate our commitment to reconciliation.
To learn more about the town’s efforts towards Truth and Reconciliation, visit the Indigenous Culture and Community page at oakville.ca.
Oakville, as we know it today, is rich in the history and modern traditions of many First Nations and the Métis. From the lands of the Anishinabe to the Attawandaron, the Haudenosaunee, and the Métis, these lands surrounding the Great Lakes are steeped in Indigenous history. As we gather on Treaty 14 and 22 Lands, we are in solidarity with Indigenous brothers and sisters to honour and respect the four directions, lands, waters, plants, animals and ancestors that walked before us, and all of the wonderful elements of creation that exist. We acknowledge and thank the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation for being stewards of this territory.
Throughout June, residents are encouraged to recognize National Indigenous History Month and June 21 marks National Indigenous Peoples Day by learning, participating and engaging in free programs and activities offered:
“This orange crosswalk not only honours the children who never returned home from residential schools across Canada and the generational impact, trauma and oppression endured by Indigenous peoples in Canada as a result of the residential school system, but it also serves as a visual reminder of the important Truth and Reconciliation work that needs and must continue across Canada. The town’s remains committed to our Truth and Reconciliation efforts and an inclusive, diverse, and equitable Oakville.”
Mayor Rob Burton
“I am pleased the Town of Oakville and the Indigenous community have taken this step in creating awareness of the Indigenous history of the land. We. We were very excited to see this orange crosswalk and the intersection will feature the moccasin identifier, a project that works to promote indigenous cultural identity. We look forward to continuing on building our positive relationship with the Town of Oakville into the future.”
MCFN Gimaa Stacey Laforme
“On behalf of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nations, Chi-miigwech to the Town of Oakville for the work that they’ve done actively supporting Indigenous involvement. As the First Nation Treaty Holders that is very rewarding. It is also rewarding to see the crosswalk, to be able to participate here and establish the Moccasin Identifier signs on the utility boxes, and including the signage in the parks. These are all good steps towards reconciliation. Chi-miigwech again.”
Carolyn King, Moccasin Identifier Project
“Learning about the impacts of the Residential Schools is everyone's responsibility.”
Sherry Saevil, Grandmother’s Voice