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Community invited to touch up Grande Prairie crosswalk honouring victims, survivors of residential schools

Organizers are hoping residents from across the region will come to leave their mark, as they will be re-painting handprints on a crosswalk to commemorate victims and survivors of Residential Schools.

Organizer Meghan Zatko says the proposed crosswalk at 97 Avenue and 101 Street will continue to show support to the Indigenous Community, and honour those who lived through the atrocities of Residential Schools. She says while last year the event was held on September 30th, this year it has been moved up to June 3rd.

“The first Friday of June is the first International Day of Friendship, which is one of a few days quite monumental in the Indigenous community,” she says.

“We decided with the help of the Aboriginal Circle of Services and the Friendship Centre’s help to decide on that day.”

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Zatko says while it’s vitally important to continue the conversation around the horrors of residential schools, she is hoping events like that will provide a platform people can also speak about the injustices that still happen today.

“We don’t like to think of Canada as having ugly and racist history, but it still happens to this day,” she says.

“We are all human beings, and we are all equal, and we have to uplift each other, and calling people out on that is really uncomfortable, but it has to be done to make a change.”

“I think it’s a step forward in showing solidarity with our indigenous community, and we received a lot of positive feedback, so I hope that continues this, next year, and the years going forward because I’m hoping it’s going to be an annual thing for many years to come,” she adds.

The crosswalk painting is scheduled to take place at 9 a.m. on June 3rd.

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