In preparation for the crosswalk, Zatko says she approached the Grande Prairie Native Service Circle and the Grande Prairie Friendship Center, making sure the crosswalk would be an appropriate commemoration.
READ MORE: Pedestrian crossing painting aims to honor victims and survivors of residential schools
In Alberta, there were 25 residential schools, the last one closing in 1996. The closest to Grande Prairie was located in Calais on the lands of the Cree Nation of Sturgeon Lake, which operated from 1907 to 1961.
The crosswalk is also intended to help honor the victims and survivors affected by the residential school system.
Zatko Tells EverythingGP Miranda Laroche of the Grande Prairie Friendship Center played an important role in ensuring that every detail of the crosswalk features a design that represents Alberta’s Indigenous community.
“I bounced every idea off her (Miranda Laroche), which is important to get her opinion, and Wayde and Darcy with the city actually came up with the idea of the individual handprints.”
On October 3, community members can help cordon off the crosswalk by putting their handprints on the crosswalk with orange paint.
“Anyone can come. This is a tribute to our Indigenous community.
All supplies needed for the handprint painting will be at the crosswalk on the big painting day. Zatko mentioned that they will also be offering a counseling demonstration when residents place their orange handprints.
“On how to do it effectively and efficiently, so that it doesn’t get coated with too much paint or not enough paint,” she said.
Residents who wish to help place an orange handprint on the crosswalk can meet at the Bonnetts Energy Center parking lot on Sunday, October 3 at 10 a.m.