South Peace News
A special crosswalk to acknowledge both missing and murdered Indigenous women and residential school children is being endorsed by High Prairie town council.
Jennifer Zatko, who is the chairperson of High Prairie Victims Services, as well as the branch manager at TD Canada Trust, is leading the project. Her first step was to write council for support before proceeding.
“We are a town surrounded by six First Nations and Metis settlements as well as, history shows, three residential schools,” she wrote.
“As a community, we need to recognize Canada’s history and work through Truth and Reconciliation to overcome our personal biases. I believe that this project would help us recognize the history of the Indigenous peoples.”
Zatko also appeared as a delegation at the Sept. 28 meeting.
“I believe there should be some type of acknowledgement,” she told council.
“Help me understand what this would look like,” said Mayor Brian Panasiuk.
Zatko replied the preliminary idea included feathers to acknowledge First Nations, the infinity logo for Metis, and handprints. Benches near the crosswalk are also being considered.
“[There] still has to be input from First Nations and Settlements,” she added.
However, the first step was council’s approval.
Panasiuk then asked if Zatko had a location in mind.
“In front of my bank so I can see it every day,” she replied.
She added a crosswalk location would be chosen that would not need fixing or replacement the next several years.
“I love the idea,” said Councillor Brian Gilroy. He suggested other possible sites at MacIntyre Park and near schools.
Councillor Michael Long suggested the four-way stop by the Royal Bank, Telus Building and ATB Financial.
“Ideally, that’s where I would like it to be,” replied Zatko.
She added there would be little cost to council because she has secured initial funding for setup. She estimates cost to maintain the crosswalk would be at the most $500 every three years.