Huntsville’s downtown businesses are invited to show their solidarity ahead of Sept. 30.
The Hope Arises project will go door to door on Main St., handing out orange ribbons to display in storefronts. Each ribbon bears the name of an Indigenous child who was a victim of the residential school system.
Joyce Crone, a Mohawk woman who organized the project, says the ribbons are free to take by anyone as a way to remember those lost children.
“We would like families, or the stores, or whoever sees the ribbon, to think about that child,” says Crone. “That ribbon represents a real child. Someone who had a life and someone who died well before their time. It’s really in memory of the children who have died, and those families who carry on without them.”
The initiative leads up to National Day for Truth and Reconciliation–also known as Orange Shirt Day– which honours the more than 1,000 Indigenous children found in unmarked graves at former residential schools.
“To me it’s ongoing. It’s something that we need to carry on,” says Crone. “Sept. 30 is a national day of remembrance, although it’s not a day off in Ontario. It is a day to stop, take your hat off, however you’re going to remember the children because it’s forever thus.”
Crone says she’ll be putting up a window display in one downtown business, similar to what she did for National Indigenous Peoples Day. She invites other businesses to do the same, and anyone who needs advice can reach out to her through Cara McQueen at 705-789-5232 ext. 3408 or [email protected]
“I just think it would be a great way for our local community to come together as allies, and remember the children and their families,” says Crone. “We’ve lost children. I mean, we can lose anyone, but when you lose a child it’s devastating.”