On Wednesday (August 31st) the Marie Sharpe Elementary School got its new crosswalk with Indigenous artwork.
A request for this crosswalk was brought to City Council by the Marie Sharpe Parental Advisory Committee (PAC) in late June, as part of their work towards truth and reconciliation. As the work progressed, organizations helped with funding the project.
“The Parental Advisory Committee, Orange Shirt Society, and CRD, we raised $7,500 and we were pretty close to spending all of that.” says Austin Tate, Marie Sharpe Parental Advisory Committee Member.
“In the future we’re going to need money for maintenance. Anybody who would like to make any donations to us in the future for our projects, that would be greatly appreciated.”
The Williams Lake First Nation, along with Marie Sharpe’s Principal, also provided a letter of support for the project to City Council, to help it get going.
Tate added that this is a small visual project towards reconciliation, which will also make the school more inclusive while celebrating the art of our local First Nation communities.
“It feels good to have people like Austin and the Marie Sharpe PAC in our community, who want to take steps to make sure that symbols of reconciliation are put up in our neighborhoods right in our city.” says Michael Moses, City Council Candidate for Williams Lake.
“It feels amazing to see these type of steps forward.”
The artwork for the crosswalk was designed by Michaela Gilbert, a local artist from the Williams Lake First Nation.
Tate said that they would love to share the stencils used with any other PAC in the district, province, and any other First Nation that think they would love the designs and do a similar project.
He also noted that there are plans to have an official unveiling of the crosswalk, however there is no set date yet.