The Town of Coburg, Ont., has unveiled a vibrant seven feathers crosswalk is a symbolic gesture, as a path forward to reconciliation.
“We will build a united bridge,” said John Henderson, mayor of Coburg, Cobourg, located 90 minutes east of Toronto on Lake Ontario.
He said his council has been working diligently with staff to build a bridge with Alderville First Nation and all indigenous communities.
“Every child matters, these are words, but I encourage all of us to put the words into action” said Henderson.
Alderville First Nation is located about 30 km north of Coburg. A few hundred people, wearing orange shirts, joined in the unveiling ceremony including Chief Dave Mowat.
He said he was encouraged to see the crosswalk initiative but added more needs to be done on the part of the provincial government.
“The curriculum needs to be tackled and these lessons need to be fleshed out in more thorough detail for the young children,” he told APTN News.
Elder Stephen Pashagumskum shared some of his residential school experiences with the crowd.
He was born on a trapline near Fort George, Que. At the tender age of six, he was taken away on a floatplane to a residential school.
“When the plane landed again in our community, some mothers were waiting anxiously to see their children, but they never got off the plane,” he said.
Cory Mattson came to support the unveiling and said the crosswalk is an important addition, “It just get people asking questions, like what’s going on because this wasn’t something that I learned.”