Last month, York Region Arts Council had the distinct pleasure of unveiling two more trail markers from The YR Experience Trail Marker Project in York Region. Now with seven (7) trail markers, York Region is well on its way to having one in every municipality of York Region.
What’s better is that summertime is the perfect time to explore the region and follow the trail.
The Trail Marker Project is a Collaborative Interactive Art outdoor showcase that looks forward to re-connect people through art. The beautiful artwork was commissioned by the York Region Arts Council and produced in collaboration with Donald Chretien, Nipissing First Nation, and Cultural narrative by Ojibwe Elder Shelley Charles, Georgina Island First Nation.
Mr. Chretien’s artwork series encompasses his Ojibwe learnings celebrating the seed spreaders and pollinators of Mother Earth.
So have you ever wondered where are all the trail markers, what are they and how can you find them all? Well, worry no more. Here are all the Trail Markers so far and you can follow the trail and interact with all of them.
Discover the YR Experience Trail Marker Project locations here:
“The Moth” (Gokowesi) located in Georgina at The Link 20849 Dalton Rd, Sutton.
Indigenous worldview of the moth:
Gokowesi(wug) comes out after the sun goes down. They pollinate the flowers, helping with the work of our grandmother, Gokomisinan who lights the night sky.
“The Butterfly” (Memengwaa) located in the Township of King at King Heritage & Cultural Centre 2920 King Road.
Indigenous worldview of the butterfly:
Memengwaa. The Butterfly has a special relationship across North America with Milkweed Plants whose flower provides essential nutrition to the Ojibwe Anishinaabe of the Great Lakes region.
“The Bee” (Aamoo) located in Aurora at Aurora Town Park, 49 Wells Street.
Indigenous worldview of the bee:
Aamoo – The Bee plays an important role in the plant world pollinating berries including the first berry of the season, the strawberry Odemin; the heart berry represents the rejuvenation of the changing seasons.
“The Hummingbird” (Nenookaasi) located in Vaughan at Kortright Centre, 9550 Pine Valley Drive, Woodbridge.
Indigenous worldview of the Hummingbird:
Nenookaasi has a special relationship with native plants and according to local Ojibwe tradition carries the sacred songs of creation, Inokinegewin.
“The Blue Jay” (Diindiisi) located in Stouffville at Vandorf Community Park, 14698 Woodbine Avenue.
Indigenous worldview of the blue jay:
Known as Diindiisi; refers to the sound of their songs. Protective of family and territory, Diindiisi lifts up happy songs of the approaching spring with the intelligence of singing with other birds and mimicking their sounds.
“The Firefly” (Waawaatesi) located in Aurora at Aurora Town Park, 49 Wells Street.
Indigenous worldview of the firefly:
Lights up the summer evenings in the long grass, among the giizhikatig (cedar tree). Ojibwe teachings acknowledges the special relationship of this pollinator with the sacred medicine of wiingushk (sweetgrass).
“The Chickadee” (Gijigijigaaneshinh) located in Newmarket at Fairy Lake Park, 520 Water Street.
Indigenous worldview of the chickadee:
The chickadee – Gijigijigaaneshinh has many beautiful nagamonaan (songs) and stores more seeds than most other bineshiinhwug (birds), hiding them for later in the winter season known as Biiboon.
This project is a celebration of our natural endemic species and an opportunity to acknowledge our Indigenous Peoples and thank them for sharing this land.
We invite you to engage in photos and share on social media your experiences on the Experience Trail!
Use the hashtag: #ExperienceYR @experienceyorkregion @yorkregionarts @donchretien
This project was made possible with support from FEDDEV Ontario, Central Counties Tourism, and the Ontario Arts Council