Brighton aims to support and honor the indigenous community


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The Municipality of Brighton plans to unveil a project to support and honor the Indigenous community on September 30.

On September 28, public works personnel began painting orange stripes on the sidewalk around the perimeter of three sides of Memorial Park in downtown.

Preston Parkinson, Brighton’s Director of Public Works and Infrastructure, and Alderville First Nation Chief Dave Mowat collaborated on the project. The Board endorsed the initiative at a recent meeting.

“My goal is to complete this in time for September 30 (National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada) when Chief Mowat is in our community,” Parkinson said.

The six to eight inch orange stripes flank the inside edge of the sidewalk against the grass. The group begins at the lawn bowling area on either side and continues to where the Memorial Park walkway begins. The painting stops at the commemorative stones on either side of the walkway, leaving the entrance to the walkway intact.

The words “Truth and Reconciliation” are painted in the orange stripe, as are the words “Every Child Counts”. Seven feathers, representing wisdom, love, respect, bravery, honesty, humility and truth – the teaching of the seven grandfathers, will also be painted in the stripes. Brighton County. Emily Rowley said earlier this summer that she would like to see a crosswalk in the town painted orange to honor Indigenous children who died in Canada’s former residential school system. She made a request reflecting this intention at the July 19 board meeting.

“We need to support and uplift our neighbors (of) Alderville (First Nation) and Tyendinaga (Mohawk Territory) and share their grief in these sad times,” Rowley told the Brighton Independent at the time.

At the recent council meeting, Rowley spoke about making the tribute at the Memorial Park.

“I’m happy to see this,” Rowley said.

“It’s thinking outside the box,” she said of painting the sidewalk as opposed to the orange crosswalk. “Kudos to the staff for coming up with something different. I appreciate the effort, ”Rowley said.

September 30 marks the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada, which was established to honor lost children and residential school survivors, their families and communities, according to the Government of Canada.

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