Paintings aim to raise cultural awareness

·1 min read

Timmins Police is raising awareness about the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

Starting this year, the new federal statutory holiday will be observed on Sept. 30.

Today, Brenda Beaven, the Timmins Police community liaison co-ordinator, is putting her art skills to use by painting on the window outside of the station.

The piece includes nine orange shoes and an orange dress with Every Child Matters written inside it.

Each number in the shoe represents the number of unmarked graves that have been found at former residential schools across Canada. Beaven will put the grave’s location and the date when the confirmed discovery was announced underneath each shoe.

Some of the locations where gravesites were found include Kamloops, B.C., Fort Providence in Northwest Territories, Battleford in Saskatoon, and Brandon, Man.

The paintings help with raising awareness, she said.

“The public stops in here. That’s who comes in through this entrance most of the time. But then we do get officers that come through as well. It’s a part of raising awareness internally and out in the community,” Beaven said. “Part of the messaging here will also be that Timmins Police cares. Timmins Police knows that every child matters. Every person matters regardless of race or ethnicity.”

Since uniform officers can’t wear orange on Sept. 30, Const. Tony Chilton and his two daughters volunteered to make orange ribbons for all uniforms to wear, according to Beaven.

The paintings will be completed today.

Dariya Baiguzhiyeva, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter,

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