On Wednesday, June 22, the Town of Oakville and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation (MCFN) unveiled the first orange crosswalk in Oakville as steps towards Truth and Reconciliation.
“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,” said MCFN Gimaa Stacey Laforme.
Mayor Rob Burton and Carolyn King, on behalf of MCFN and the Moccasin Identifier Project, were joined by CAO Jane Clohecy, members of the 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 honor 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.
“As the First Nation Treaty Holders, that is very rewarding,” commented Carolyn King from the Moccasin Identifier Project. “These are all good steps towards reconciliation. Chi-miigwech again.”
The sign, to be installed at the southeast corner of Thomas and Church streets, will provide the public with not only the opportunity to reflect on the 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 led by Indigenous Knowledge Guide Stephen Paquette and Sherry Saevil of Grandmother’s Voice to raise awareness of the legacy of residential schools, work 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.
“Learning about the impacts of the Residential Schools is everyone’s responsibility,” said Sherry Saevil, Grandmother’s Voice.