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Indigenous Recognition Wall Unveiled in Thunder Bay

By Katie Nicholls Sep 28, 2022 | 1:43 PM

Located just inside the entrance of the Harry Kirk Archives & Records Centre is a wall that is aimed at making the very corporate space more inviting.

After much work and pandemic delays, Matt Szybalski got to see his heartfelt project of the Indigenous Recognition Wall come to fruition.

After being an archivist with the City for the past 15 years, Szybalski retired from the City’s Archives earlier this year but had started the work on the Recognition Wall back in 2020. It was because of Covid that the project was put on hold.

There were even material delays that impeded some of the work, but Szybalski said that they “wanted to do it right”, and took their time to make sure it could be presented in person.

The wall has a feature picture of Anemki Wajiw or Thunder Mountain/Mount McKay. Hanging delicately in front of the sepia-toned landscape are three translucent panels each of their own significance.

One features a land acknowledgement claim, the centre panel is the largest that has the Robinson Superior Treaty of 1850 etched into it, and the third panel features the Declaration of Commitment from The City of Thunder Bay for Indigenous Peoples.

The hope is that the new installation will make the archives offices more welcoming to anyone in the city that wants to come and research more on the history of Thunder Bay, Fort William and Port Arthur.


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