Imagine being Aylee’s sister and Mary comforting you after her death.
“I know how you’re feeling Y/N. Aylee wasn’t just one of my ladies, she was one of my best friends, and she was like a sister to me. She was like a sister to all of us. Which is why myself, Lola, Greer and Kenna will all be here for you.”
“Thank you Mary.” You said as you wiped away your tears.
New street signs put Toronto's Indigenous history front and centre
The signs on some of Toronto’s best-known streets are getting a makeover, but the names they bear aren’t new — in fact, they’re thousands of years old.
It’s a movement begun at the height of the Idle No More movement in 2013 by artists and activists Hayden King and Susan Blight through a project called Ogimaa Mikana. As part of an effort to reclaim Toronto’s Indigenous history, the two made stickers with Indigenous translations of Toronto street names, plastering them over the English signs.
Now, three years later, “official” signs are cropping up across the city, with four of Toronto’s major streets now bearing signs with their Anishinaabe names.
The signs officially went up Friday as part of a joint initiative by Ogimaa Mikana and the Dupont by the Castle Business Improvement Area (BIA).
Stuart Grant, chair of the BIA, told CBC News the group was inspired to bring the signs to their area after seeing the hand-made ones by Ogimaa Mikana online. After taking the idea to the city, Grant says, the group started work on the signs’ designs.
“These were the names thousands of years ago when the First Nations people were here,” Grant told CBC News.
“By doing this, it shows that the First Nations people are still here. We’re still on their land. We share it but we’re still on their land,” Grant said.
On its website, Ogimaa Mikana says it hopes “to restore Anishinaabemowin place-names to the streets, avenues, roads, paths and trails of Gichi Kiiwenging (Toronto).”
The group hopes the signs will expand throughout the city, “transforming a landscape that often obscures or makes invisible the presence of Indigenous peoples.”