Pickering, ON, September 28, 2021 – The City of Pickering, together with the Indigenous Relationship Building Circle (IRBC), has approved the installation of an orange crosswalk at a prominent intersection in Pickering.
The commemorative crosswalk will stand to honour the lost children, survivors, their families, and communities affected by the residential school system.
The Motion to install the crosswalk was passed unanimously at last night’s Council Meeting in recognition of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30, and the City of Pickering’s ongoing commitment to advancing reconciliation with Indigenous communities. Work on the crosswalk is intended to begin by the end of October, 2021.
The City of Pickering is proud to support this initiative brought forth by the IRBC, who together, will be commissioning the work of an Indigenous artist for the design and installation. The IRBC, endorsed through Council and comprised of various Indigenous-led local organizations and residents, aims to give a voice to Indigenous residents and Indigenous communities in the City of Pickering, and to honour the contributions, history and cultures of First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples. Learn more at pickering.ca/IRBC.
“I wanted to put forward this project to commemorate all of the Indigenous children stolen from their families, and forced to attend residential schools. When assisting with the memorial outside of City Hall, when the 215 indigenous child bodies were found, we heard from the local indigenous community how important it was to have a place for them to gather, reflect, and grieve. When we were taking the memorial apart to gather the shoes to donate to a reserve, another community member, Jocelyne Pelletier, and I began discussing how it would be nice to have something more permanent to recognize this. Together, Jocelyne and I have spent the last four years working with our kids to teach them about our indigenous heritage and how important our voices are. This was an opportunity to show our kids that we could help put something beautiful together.”
– Stephanie Bourque
Indigenous Relationship Building Circle
“As we approach September 30th, we are reminded of our collective responsibility to engage in reconciliation efforts to redress historical wrongdoings and their ongoing impacts for Indigenous Peoples. This is a time for learning, healing and reflection among all community members, and I am so proud to see the IRBC taking leadership to implement meaningful initiatives in partnership with the City of Pickering. We are honoured to work alongside the IRBC members to amplify the work of Indigenous groups and residents in ways that sustain mutually respectful relations.”
– Mayor Dave Ryan
City of Pickering
As the gateway to the east GTA, Pickering (population 94,000) is strategically located where Toronto, York and Durham Regions meet. An award-winning municipality, Pickering is slated for significant economic and residential growth; offering an unparalleled quality of life for those who live, work, and play here. Its dynamic City Centre has been designated by the Province of Ontario as both an Urban Growth Centre and Mobility Hub, and continues to evolve as a preferred destination for creative learning, memorable events, and unique experiences at the heart of a vibrant, connected, and engaged community.
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