Indigenous Placemaking Site opens at Island Lake Conservation Area

June 13, 2024   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

Members of Mississaugas of the Credit First Nations, Credit Valley Conservation, partners, and the public gathered for the opening of the Crane Gathering Space at the Island Lake Conservation Area on Friday, June 7.

This is the first Indigenous placemaking site along the Credit Valley Trail and is located near the park entrance off Hurontario Street.

The Crane Gathering Space is the first of seven Anishinaabe dodem (clan) sites planned along the Credit Valley Trail (CVT). It was developed by the CVT Indigenous Roundtable – an Indigenous-led committee with community representatives from the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nations, Cree and Huron-Wendat First Nations, in collaboration with Credit Valley Conservation and CVT partners.

The project space aims to bring Indigenous culture and experiences to life along the trail.

The vision for the Crane Gathering Space was developed by the Indigenous Roundtable in collaboration with CVC and CVT partners.

The plan was guided by the Indigenous Experience Plan.

The conceptual vision for the Space was developed by Smoke Architecture and Trohpic Design.

The site features a round stone seating area, a symbolic fence, and poles in the shape of First Nations fishing poles, as well as a fire pit.

Credit Valley Conservation and the Roundtable worked with Indigenous architects, landscape architects, fabricators, and artisans to supply critical components of the Gathering Space’s design and construction.

“The immense dedication of time, effort, care, and goodwill for this project is clear,” said Fred Nix, deputy mayor of Mono, during the opening ceremony. “I hope that the Crane Gather Space stands a testament to continued learning and friendship. We have learned that in Anishinaabe tradition, Ajijaak is known as the echo maker and is the speaker for the clan, and the announcer of things to come. Thank you to all the partners and generous partners to this project that has brought us here today. This is a once in a lifetime project that will highlight Indigenous learnings, experience, teachings, and storytelling along the Credit River.”

The Crane Gathering Space is a space for Mississauga of the Credit First Nation, urban Indigenous communities and other Indigenous communities to have ceremonies and honour their traditions on the land.

The space will also nurture connections between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities, produce unique recreational experiences and serve as a publicly accessible site, available for innovative education opportunities. 

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