Ontario mayors joined Chief Stacey Laforme and former Chief Bryan LaForme in signing an MOU as the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation kicked off its 11th annual historical gathering on Tuesday.
Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed-Ward, Halton Hills Mayor Ann Lawlor and Richmond Hill Mayor David West signed a memorandum of understanding to formalize a collaborative working relationship with MCFN going forward.
“We have been on a very long journey to advance truth and reconciliation in Burlington,” said Meed-Ward.
The chief and mayors each took turns explaining the significance and symbolism behind their flags, starting with Chief Laforme explaining the symbolism of its eagle staff.
The eagle, emblazoned on the top of the flag, is a central component of the Anishinaabe creation story and is the messenger to the Creator.
The three fires surrounding the eagle signify the Confederacy of the three nations of the Odawa, the Ojibwe and they Potawatomi.
The blue circle represents water, explained Chief Laforme.
The Mississauga Nation flag depicts a canoe with six feathers contained within, signifying the relationship between the six Mississauga Nations – Hiawatha, Curve Lake, Alderville, MCFN, Scugog and the Mississaugi Nation.
Halton Hills Mayor Ann Lawlor said they fly the MCFN on the property at city hall.
“We’re very pleased about our relationship with Mississaugas of the Credit,” said Lawlor, noting that her community has the MCFN flag flying outside city hall.
The Halton Hills logo has two Hs and a blue wave running through the letters, which denotes the Credit River that runs through the community. MCFN originally got their name from their settlement along the Credit River which runs through the Greater Toronto Area.
The City of Burlington logo has three waves on the top in three colours – blue, green and yellow – with each colour representing different things.
The blue represents the city’s waterfront on Lake Ontario.
“I am learning about the importance of the healing powers of water. In our community, Ive always just seen the water as something so beautiful. But it also has those healing properties.”
The green represents the city’s green space.
“We’re half rural in Burlington,” said Meed-Ward. “We have the Niagara Escarpment, which is a World Biosphere Reserve, recognized for its biodiversity and the land which is so important.”
Yellow represents the city’s sunshine.
The three-day agenda includes presentations from noted historians, community members and elders, on subjects such as water, archaeology, treaties, history and modern-day projects.