Apr 26, 2021
Today the City of Saskatoon announced the installation of new bike racks along Saskatoon’s historic 21st Street that honour First Nations and Métis peoples’ histories and cultures. The bike racks display medals that were chosen as meaningful symbols that could demonstrate respect for Saskatoon’s Indigenous histories on one of the city’s major historic streets.
In partnership with the City of Saskatoon and The Saskatchewan Indigenous Cultural Centre, the Gabriel Dumont Institute (GDI) provided important historical information to explain the significance of the bike rack medals and the history of Métis peoples in Saskatoon and the surrounding area. “It is important that the citizens of Saskatoon and the visitors who come to our beautiful city have a fuller understanding that the Métis and First Nations peoples lived here long before Saskatoon became a city and long before Canada officially became a country. That both groups were displaced to make room for settlers is an important part of our collective history and a step towards the truth that must precede reconciliation,” said Karon Shmon, GDI Métis Culture and Heritage Director.
According to the news release, the bike racks were created in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action No. 79: Participate in a strategy to commemorate the contributions and history of Aboriginal peoples to Canada. Métis Senator Nora Cummings who also contributed to this project states, “The medal includes symbols that are important to us as Métis people. By having these medals on the bike racks, it helps to educate others about our experiences here and to encourage pride amongst ourselves and especially amongst our young people. It’s important that they have pride in themselves, their history, and their identity.”
To read the City of Saskatoon’s full media release click here: https://www.saskatoon.ca/news-releases/treaty-6-territory-homeland-metis-bike-racks-being-installed-along-21st-street-honour-indigenous