Crosswalk honouring residential school victims to be unveiled Friday in Kitchener

On Friday a first-of-its-kind ‘Every Child Matters’ crosswalk will be unveiled in Victoria Park.

The goal of the crosswalk which has been endorsed by the Orange Shirt Society is to pay tribute to the victims of the residential school system and the lives lost.

The dedication will feature the 2022 Orange Shirt design, the words ‘Every Child Matters’ and more than 6,000 painted foot prints along paths throughout the park.

Speaking with CityNews 570, Sheena Merling (Bin-no-g Man-na-doe Quay) – – Spirit of the Children, the resident lead who started the initiative explained the significance of the tribute.

“The foot prints are to honor every single child. I connected with 6,321 people in our community and then some. The company that helped us Cloverdale Paint made sure at night time these foot prints glow in the dark so that no one else feels alone. ”

Merling said she was surprised and by the outpouring of support for the crosswalks creation.

“This week has been overwhelming for the community support coming in non-stop. When we reached out to the Orange Shirt Society we wanted to make sure we could use the name ‘Every Child Matters’. They let us know we were the first ever to ask and they said they’d like to endorse this.”

Being brought to tears Merling added, “I’m still in disbelief that I’m in a contract with the City of Kitchener and Orange Shirt Society, I never imagined that but what I did know is we needed a place to go and reflect .”

Friday’s ceremony will run from noon until 4 pm at Water Street and Jubilee Drive in Victoria Park.

Merling said those who wish to attend and show support simply need to show up wearing an orange shirt.

Those who are unable to go to the unveiling are asked to show support online or any other way they can.

This dedication comes ahead of the countries second National Day for Truth and Reconciliation which will be marked on Sept. 30.

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