Corp Comm Connects

Every Child Matters rink board unveiled at Stronach Aurora Recreation Complex

The board is the first of five that will be installed at arena rinks in town
March 31, 2023
Melissa Wallace

Kim Wheatley, Anishinaabe Ojibway Grandmother, wiped away tears as she reflected on the newly unveiled “Every Child Matters” rink board at the Stronach Aurora Recreation Complex (SARC) on March 21.

“Every time I see a flag, a land acknowledgment, or something like this, there's a healing that takes place -- an affirmation -- that is very emotional and difficult to find words to capture,” she said. “This is beautiful and most unexpected.”

The rink board at the SARC is the first of five that will be installed at arena rinks in the Town of Aurora, symbolizing the Town’s commitment to meaningful reconciliation with Indigenous communities.

“We all have a role to play in reconciliation, and to our knowledge, rink board space has not been used this way before by any other municipality,” said Mayor Tom Mrakas. “I am hopeful that although Aurora may be the first, it will inspire other communities to follow.”

In support of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s 94 calls to action, the rink boards will provide a visual reminder to honour and remember survivors of residential schools, their families and the children who never made it home.

“Having visual markers of our presence is important because people think of us as historic beings,” said Wheatley. “They don't recognize our contemporary presence, contributions and the fact that we're very much like most city folk, 80 percent of us live in cities now and we're not all on reserve, hidden away anymore.

“This is such a special day.”