WHAT’S GOING ON HERE?: Moccasins land in Mississauga crosswalk
June 15, 2022
A crosswalk in southern Mississauga now has moccasins painted in the roadway, part of a collaboration between the city and the Moccasin Identifier Project.
JUST THE FACTS
The stencilled moccasins, which include traditional Cree and Anishinaabe designs, are at the intersection of Lakeshore Road East and Lakefront Promenade in Mississauga’s Lakeview neighbourhood.
The Moccasin Identifier Project was created by former Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation Chief Carolyn King in 2011 as a way to boost Indigenous and treaty awareness by placing renditions of the traditional Indigenous leather footwear throughout Canada.
King said in a recent speech to the Mississauga Board of Trade that the project is part of a re-education effort that she believes will eventually “change the world.”
“When I think about all the things that our people have lost in this country, in this continent, it's overwhelming,” she said. “So when I drive down the highway and I see something that represents me and my people, I'll feel happy.”
The installation also includes signs with details about the specific moccasin designs and the background of the Indigenous people that wore them.
Moccasin Identifier Project creator Carolyn King and local councillor Stephen Dasko install signs for the Moccasin installation at Lakeshore Road East and Lakefront Promenade. | MCFN/Twitter photo
Local councillor Stephen Dasko said the project has been in the works since last summer and said he hopes it adds awareness, healing and helps reconnect “the people to the water.”
In a statement, John Dunlop, Mississauga’s manager of heritage and Indigenous relations, said the project is part of the city’s truth and reconciliation efforts and serves as a reminder of the area’s Indigenous past.
“As a place-making activation, it serves as a strong reminder that there was a concerted effort to erase Indigenous presence and footprints in the city, going back as far as 175 years ago when the Mississaugas of the Credit Mission Village was formally closed by the government of the day,” he said.
A ceremonial unveiling was held for the crosswalk May 31 that was attended by King, Dasko, Dunlop, as well as city works staff.
June is National Indigenous History Month, which recognizes the history and resilience of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples from coast to coast.