This month I would like to share with membership the Oakville wampum belt offering and the kind words from Oakville resident Stephen Paquette. Steve Paquette is the Halton District School Board’s Indigenous Knowledge Guide and chair of the Halton Indigenous Education Advisory Council, He is also a representative on numerous Halton Region committees and working groups and has established relationships with senior school board and provincial government officials, as well as staff members and local indigenous elders, knowledge keepers and the Chief of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation.

“Stephen Paquette
February 28 at 9:32 PM
In a country divided, I am so glad to say that I live in Oakville. Today, there was an offering on a wampum belt from Mayor Rob Burton of Oakville (1st photo far left) to Chief LaForme of the Mississauga’s of the Credit. The belt was smudged upon it being brought to Oakville, pipe ceremony was done with it, then Mayor Burton spent time with the belt to understand the significance of it.  There was a sacred fire at the site of the Oakville museum, tobacco was offered.  Elder Garry Sault started and ended the event with ceremony. It was an authentic step in Truth And Reconciliation. The wampum belt acknowledged the past of Oakville, that it rests on the traditional lands of the Mississauga’s of the Credit, that we will always be present in our relationship with them and to always maintain it in the future. The event was conducted on the 200 year anniversary of when the last treaties were signed that saw the Mississauga’s of the Credit displaced from the the last of their lands and allowed for the creation of Oakville.  Today, in Oakville we are on a new journey.  I want to acknowledge all the community supporters that were there, too many to list, which is in itself a beautiful thing. I want to acknowledge the representation from the Mississauga’s the Credit. I want to thank my daughters for supporting me today as my helpers.  Thank you all my friends”

The belt exchange was in recognition of the 200th anniversary of the signing of Treaty 22, which encompasses the lands at 12 and 16 Mile Creeks.