'It changes our history', meaningful street renaming
Published Wednesday, June 21, 2017 2:44PM EDT
While Indigenous people all over Canada are marking National Aboriginal Day, the people of Mississauga First Nation are rejoicing in a small, but significant nod of respect from the nearby Town of Blind River.
For years, a street sign in Blind River read ‘Colonization Road’.
The chief of Mississauga First Nation said it was time to erase the word from the community.
“The name colonization road has deep historical roots, that's why we needed the name changed,” said Chief Reg Niganobe, Mississauga First Nation.
“Just because colonization does mean something different than it does to everyone else."
The street is now named after Cecil Youngfox, an indigenous artist who grew up in Blind River.
The citizens of Mississauga First Nation told CTV it is important the name was changed.
"It changes our history, our lives and for that name to be there was a constant reminder of our past."
"It's very significant. It's a small step to healing for our people and building a relationship with the blind river people and our Mississauga First Nation."
Representatives from the neighbouring communities said they already had a good working relationship with one another, but they admit cooperating on the name change can only make it stronger.
“We decided it was in the best interest to support our neighbours with truth and reconciliation and do the right thing and change the name,” said Sue Jensen, Blind River mayor.
Cecil Youngfox's work is currently on display at the Timber Village Museum. Much of his work is inspired by his roots in Blind River.