Despite Covid restrictions and inclement weather, the Timmins Police Service was pleased and honored to be the recipient of culturally significant artwork donated by a local university student today.
Brent Gauthier, a second year Criminology Student at Ottawa University, was on hand to present his “project” to the Timmins Police Service today in the spirit of inclusion and awareness.
This gift is made to the Timmins Police Service and its Indigenous Advisory Committee in particular.
During his History of Indigenous, Inuit and Metis People of Canada, Brent discovered a great deal about the history of Indigenous people in Canada and how historical events have had an impact of local Indigenous populations.
It is most fitting and significant that this gesture of goodwill occurred on June 21st as it is National Indigenous Persons Day.
The donation ceremony took place directly in front of public awareness inspired artwork created by Brenda Beaven – Timmins Police – Community Liaison Coordinator.
The artist explained the significance of each component of his artwork project. His sense of social conscience in regards to Indigenous persons is quite evident.
From the time of First Contact with the Europeans to today, a considerable amount of events with historical significance regarding Canada’s Indigenous population have occurred.
As a culminating assignment for the end of the semester, Brent completed this project along with a 5000 word essay discussing each of the symbols as they relate to the Indigenous community here in Timmins.
The process of creating this culturally significant artwork has allowed for this young man to adopt a personal take away based on his studies and experience.
At the bottom is the Turtle representing Turtle Island which represents the North American continent for the Indigenous community.
Above that is an image of the Treaty 9 area within the Province of Ontario which is where Timmins is located.
Next is the symbol representing the Nishnawbe-Aski Nation which covers much of Treaty 9 territory.
Next is the Timmins Police Indigenous Advisory Committee (TPS IAC) emblem indicating the work being done to improve relations between police and our Indigenous population partners
The feather is a symbol of the eagle which is often described as the messenger between the creator, spirits, and the world in which we live.
It is also known as one of nature’s most powerful and majestic birds.
The feather is used during smudging ceremonies and in Indigenous headdresses.
At the top is the symbol representing the Metis Nation of Ontario as we have many Metis members living with in our city.
The Timmins Police Service graciously accepts this art work as a gift designed to acknowledge the cultural significance of local Indigenous populations in our area.
Mayor Pirie took time out of his schedule to attend today’s presentation and to learn more about the local artist, and the cultural awareness that inspired the project.
This art work will be placed on prominent display in the Timmins Police station to serve as a symbol of community unity among various Timmins agencies and the local Indigenous population.