People of the Cold Lake Aboriginal community and members of 4 Wing pose for a group photo outside the Col J.J. Parr Sports Centre side walk, 4 Wing, Cold Lake, Alberta on September 29th, 2022 – Photo: Avr Kastleen Strome, 4 Wing Imaging
Another year goes by, commemorating the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. A day in which, across the country, many activities take place to memorialize the history and legacy of residential schools. Additional to this included Orange shirt Day, attempting to continue raising awareness of the residential school’s individual, family, and intergenerational community impacts. You may have witnessed this with the countless supporters wearing the “Every Child Matters” clothing and signage across the Lakeland.
In addition to that awareness, a painted crosswalk was unveiled this year on September 29th. With the support of local Cold Lake residents, the Defence Aboriginal Advisory Group (DAAG) installed an Indigenous ‘Seven Feathers’ Crosswalk. Individuals who wish to observe this painting may do so on Timberline Drive, located by the Col J.J. Parr Sports Centre on CFB Cold Lake. This undertaking, many more to come, was one step closer to reconciliation within our community while commemorating the legacy of the residential schools. The Seven Feathers represent the seven guiding principles adopted by many Indigenous communities: Love, Wisdom, Respect, Truth, Humility, Honesty, and Courage.
The unveiling of this crosswalk preceded by raising three flags, Métis Nation, Cold Lake First Nations (CLFN), and Treaty No. 6. After that, a tea ceremony occurred open to all who wished to share words with one another, building community awareness and emphasizing the importance of the day to come. As a community which continues to grow we should all strive for the notion that, as Canadians, it is essential that we understand the full historical impact on our society and that our children become champions to those in need.