Truth, Reconciliation X-Walk for ’Burg

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The Municipality of Chatham-Kent is partnering with Whyte’s Pickles and a local Indigenous artist for the installation of a Truth and Reconciliation crosswalk in downtown Wallaceburg.

The crosswalk will be painted orange in recognition of the tragic history and ongoing legacy of Residential and Day Schools in Canada; it also includes feathers that were custom designed to represent the Seven Sacred Teachings, with the insignia “Every Child Matters.”

The Seven Sacred Teachings – also known as the Seven Grandfather Teachings – are guiding principles on living a good life based on First Nation lessons. They include wisdom, love, respect, bravery, honesty, humility, and truth.

Similar crosswalks have been approved or completed in Timmins, Burnaby, Oakville, Kamloops, Edmonton and several other Canadian towns and cities.

The local artist is Nicholas Riley from Bkejwanong First Nation. He studied graphic design at Fanshawe college and is a graduate from Lambton College Business Marketing program. He designed the logo for the Sarnia Lambton Native Friendship Centre and has since designed logos for the Walpole community, Employment and Training, and Elder Abuse Awareness.

The Whyte’s management team stated that “we are honored to partner in this initiative with the Municipality of Chatham-Kent. We aim to uphold the values of the Seven Sacred Teachings and are deeply appreciative of our team and community members who are First Nation. It is with great pride that we participate in this commemoration and support the work of local artist Nicholas Riley.”

Rebecca Haskell-Thomas, diversity, equity, inclusion and justice co-ordinator for the municipality said, “The orange crosswalk symbolizes our recognition of the harms that have been done. Incorporating the Seven Grandfather Teachings shows us a pathway for moving forward.”

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