Whitehorse crosswalk representing racial identities made permanent

·1 min read
'This is a small step that I was able to contribute to,' said Melissa Murray, who petitioned Whitehorse city council for a new crosswalk downtown, to represent Black, Indigenous and people of colour. It's now been made permanent. (George Maratos/CBC - image credit)
'This is a small step that I was able to contribute to,' said Melissa Murray, who petitioned Whitehorse city council for a new crosswalk downtown, to represent Black, Indigenous and people of colour. It's now been made permanent. (George Maratos/CBC - image credit)

Whitehorse has made another colourful crosswalk downtown permanent — this one representing Black, Indigenous and people of colour.

"I've been standing here for most of the day, just staring at it," said Melissa Murray, watching on Wednesday as city crews painted the black, red, yellow, brown and orange stripes at the intersection of Main and Front streets.

Murray petitioned city council last year for the crosswalk. She had been moved by the Black Lives Matter demonstrations happening elsewhere, and wanted to do something in her own city.

"I didn't find there was a whole lot happening within our city that was showing support or ways of supporting," she recalled.

"And having kind of an artist background and having a lot of artist friends, I was like, 'how can I contribute to our city?'"

George Maratos/CBC
George Maratos/CBC

Her initial idea was to paint a street in honour of Black Lives Matter, but soon decided that was not realistic. A crosswalk seemed more feasible, as the city already had colourful crosswalks downtown representing Pride and the transgender communities.

She started a petition and presented it to city council last year. Mayor Dan Curtis immediately said yes, calling it a "great idea" and saying he wanted the city's colourful crosswalks to be fixtures "for a millennium."

Council's response was "amazing," says Murray.

"To have it visibly shown means a lot. I mean, there's still huge steps that need to be made within our city. But this is a small step that I was able to contribute to," she said.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting