“Lights on Peel: Honoring the Kanien’kehá:ka Clans”

Written by on November 25, 2020

The “Lights on Peel: Honoring the Kanien’kehá:ka Clans” project in downtown Montreal has launched. The project was created by SDC Montréal Centre-Ville in collaboration with the MCK and The Kanien’kehá:ka Onkwawén:na Raotitióhkwa Language & Cultural Center, with support from the Ville-Marie Borough.

The vision began with the 2018 discovery of artifacts that were crafted by ancestral Iroquois discovered under the intersection of Peel and Sherbrooke Streets. As this took place as the City of Montreal began its Reconciliation efforts, it was deemed a natural opportunity to work directly with the community.

According to Chief Kahsennenhawe Sky-Deer, ‘The Lights on Peel Street’ is an impressive initiative that truly pays tribute to the heart of our society:

“It’s actual lights all the way down Peel Street, I believe there are 9 of them in total, they look like constellations. The artwork that was commissioned by Kyle (Williams) is more for the promotional materials such as pamphlets, website, so they’re not the same but I believe when you’re there and if you’re taking a walk on Peel Street, they do have billboards or something explaining the background of the project and what it is.”

Chief Sky-Deer explains how the community became involved in the project:

“So in the summer we were contacted to collaborate on this project and basically what they wanted to do was to honour the Mohawk People because they had found remains a couple of years back. So, they had already conceptualized what the project was going to look like, they had already secured a company to do the inception of the lights, because they had to do it all the way though to the installation, so the same company handled everything from start to finish. Our role was mostly about ensuring that the content was accurate, about the origins of the Clan stories, finding a local artist to create some artwork to help promote the initiative.”

The Lights on Peel Street is scheduled to run until, February 15th, 2021.

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