Eganville – Following the orange ribbon campaign on the main bridge spanning the Bonnechere River earlier this summer plans are now beginning for a more permanent monument in the village which could take the form of a mural, sculpture or garden.
“I know September 21st is a very important day, as is September 30th,” Bonnechere Valley Mayor Jennifer Murphy said during a committee meeting of council last Tuesday.
“The garden would be something easy to do,” Councillor Brent Patrick, who was chairing the meeting, pointed out. “We have planters in the downtown core that don’t have anything in them.”
Sheri Miller came to the meeting seeking a more permanent memorial for the First Nations people in the community.
“I’ve had people suggesting a mural being done,” she said. “A lot of people are suggesting a garden, an orange flower garden. A lot of people saying a plaque with whose territory this is.”
Other ideas include flags or other plaques recognizing achievements of Indigenous people, she said.
“I also liked the idea of a wooden carving,” Mayor Murphy said. “Someone suggested that for the tourist booth.”
She questioned if there have been suggestions from Pikwakangan council on what would be appropriate.
“We would not want to design anything here without their input,” she said.
Ms. Miller said she has been in touch with some council members from Pikwakanagan and there have been some ideas exchanged.
“There were members of the band council who suggested the gardens,” she said.
There has also been the idea of having Indigenous children paint stones to be included in a garden.
Coun. Patrick said this is something the horticultural society might be involved with. He pointed out the township gives a $1,000 donation for projects and perhaps there could be orange flowers in a dedicated garden which would bloom throughout the season.
Mayor Murphy questioned where a mural could go. Ms. Miller said she was hoping a business owner would welcome a mural, perhaps in the downtown core.
“It does not have to be huge,” she said.
These are all preliminary ideas, she added.
“I was going to see if we could get as many people as possible to donate,” she said.
The mayor said Ms. Miller could let her committee work on this and keep in touch with council. Ms. Miller noted the committee is just herself and her husband at this point.
Council agreed they would keep working with her on the initiative.
Debbi Christinck, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eganville Leader