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New crosswalk to honour victims, survivors of Residential Schools

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A crosswalk to commemorate victims and survivors of Residential Schools will soon be a part of the Grande Prairie landscape. Organizer Meghan Zatko says the proposed crosswalk at 97 Avenue and 101 Street will show support to the Indigenous Community, and honour those who lived through the atrocities of Residential Schools.

“In Alberta, we had 25 schools, and I think with the excavation of Grouard, I think it’s important we stand beside our Indigenous communities,” she says.

The privately funded project will add painted orange handprints, in the same vein as those seen in Murdered & Missing Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two-Spirit graphics. Zatko says after speaking with a number of Indigenous organizations across the city, they received widespread support.

“We’ve received two letters of support, from the Grande Prairie Friendship Centre and Grande Prairie Aboriginal Circle of Services, and they both have been really supportive, and grateful that someone is taking this on without being asked or prompted,” she says.

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She adds they’re hoping to paint the new crosswalk on September 30th, as part of Orange Shirt Day, a day marked by residents across the country wearing orange to help acknowledge the legacy of residential schools. She adds if the crosswalk is well received, they hope to continue touching up the project every year.

“Next year, I’m hoping to involve local businesses who would like to help fund the project, as I hope it’s a yearly thing going forward, similar to the Pride Crosswalk,” she adds.

It’s expected the crosswalk painting will cost around $600 to complete.

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