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Indigenous crosswalk unveiled near Niagara Region Headquarters

Yesterday, Niagara Region unveiled an Indigenous crosswalk at the corner of Merrittville Highway and Sir Isaac Brock Way.
 
The crosswalk was designed by Alyssa General, a local Indigenous graphic designer, artist, poet, and film-maker from Six Nations of the Grand River. Alyssa is also the Art Director of Spirit & Intent, an Indigenous-owned art production company which celebrates Haudenosaunee knowledge’s, languages and ways of living through storytelling and art.
 
Her work includes the illustrations for the Kanyen’kéha children’s show, Tóta tánon Ohkwá:ri, and collaborating with Mohawk speakers on a series of short, educational films in the language. She also received national recognition for her poem “Enkonte’nikonhrakwaríhsya’te”.
 
This crosswalk was designed in consultation with the Fort Erie Native Friendship Centre, Niagara Regional Native Centre, Niagara Chapter Native Women, Niagara Regional Métis Council, and Brock University Aboriginal Student Services.
 
The design represents earth, sky, and water, with the teal sections representing the waves and water of Niagara River, the Thunder Beings, and Niagara Falls. The terracotta colour represents the earth, pottery, and the Six Nations. The semi-circle in the middle represents the Sky Woman creation story, earth and sky, with a plant growing within the sky dome of Turtle Island (the continent on which we live).
 
Niagara Region is committed to supporting the local Indigenous community and has been working to promote, educate and drive awareness to benefit local Indigenous relations within our community. This crosswalk is an example of the Region celebrating Indigenous cultures and histories, it is a reflection of our commitment to reconciliation and aligns with the spirit of the Truth and Reconciliation Call to Action #83,
 
“We call upon the Canada Council for the Arts to establish, as a funding priority, a strategy for Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists to undertake collaborative projects and produce works that contribute to the reconciliation process.” Call to Action #83

Quotes

"Regional Council has taken important steps to educate ourselves on the history of Indigenous peoples in Niagara and their culture. This beautiful Indigenous crosswalk is a visual representation of the work we are doing to respect the rights, differences and dignity of all people, including our Indigenous partners. With projects like this, Niagara Region can continue to promote, educate and drive awareness to benefit the local Indigenous communities within Niagara."
~ Jim Bradley, Regional Chair, Niagara Region
"The Indigenous Crosswalk designed by Alyssa General in consultation with the Fort Erie Native Friendship Centre, Niagara Regional Native Centre, Niagara Chapter Native Women, Niagara Regional Métis Council and Brock University Aboriginal Student Services shows the importance of collaboration and working together. This Crosswalk honours the Indigenous Peoples who first walked this land, continue to reside here and uphold the responsibility to care for these lands. It provides a beautiful visual representation of Indigenous culture and history."
~ Terry Ugulini, Mayor, City of Thorold
"To see yourself represented in the landscape, it’s such a beautiful representation of the teachings. All of a sudden, as Indigenous peoples, we’re seen, we’re valued and we matter. It’s Indigenous excellence. "
~ Dr. Robyn Bourgeois, Vice Provost Indigenous Engagement, Brock University

Media Inquiries

Janine Tessmer, Communications Consultant
Niagara Region
905-980-6000 ext. 3290
janine.tessmer@niagararegion.ca


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