An honourable idea is catching attention

20 February 2021  · 
Neil Mens wrote:
The Riverside Gallery of Indigenous Arts– a concept of reconciliation and inclusion for our Celestial Beacon Site

I propose a year round gallery and shop for Canadian Indigenous Arts and Craft run by Indigenous People be sited at the Celestial Beacon. For more than a thousand years this shoreline Beacon site was known as Wawiiatanong “where the river bends”.

The Central Riverfront Integration Plan ( 2000) itself cites “Each Beacon explores a thematic aspect intended to provoke contemplation of time—both past and future, the planet as a miracle of life, earth in relation to space (sun, moon, stars and beyond) human creation and the human condition.”

Before we put shovels in the ground for a streetcar on the waterfront I ask for the public to reconsider what they ask City Council to build. While Streetcars tell the story of transportation innovation over 25 years, telling the story of the Indigenous people of Canada, in their own words and artistic expressions, spans thousands of years.

Indigenous groups have successfully operated similar social enterprises across Canada to provide meaningful employment. Windsor is a gateway city for American and International tourists who today want authenticity as they learn the stories of Canada.

Since 2000 when the CRIP was completed, Canadians have learned a great deal from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (2015). Our CRIP plan needs to be updated to reflect the changing attitudes of Canadians and International tourists as we seek to reconcile our past and build a more inclusive and prosperous future.

Neil Mens

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