Gathering - Nogojiwanong Project

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Artist Michael Belmore and the selection committee for the Nogojiwanong Project cut the ribbon around his artwork Gathering

Peterborough, ON - The City of Peterborough held a ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday, November 10, 2022 at 1 p.m. for “Gathering,” a new public artwork created by Michael Belmore, as part of the Nogojiwanong Project in Millennium Park next to the Trans Canada Trail, near the south end of Water Street.

November 6 to 12, 2022 is Treaties Recognition Week in Ontario, which focuses attention on the significance of treaty rights, treaty relationships and their relevance today.

The Nogojiwanong Project is a collaboration undertaken in the spirit of kinship between local First Nations, Indigenous peoples, and the City of Peterborough in recognition of the 200th anniversary of Rice Lake Treaty No. 20. Through the collaboration, a gathering space was created in 2019 that encourages learning and reflection with a series of interpretive panels highlighting the evolution of local treaties and inherent rights of Indigenous peoples. Belmore’s work “Gathering” is the focal point of the space.

“Gathering” consists of a grouping of glacial erratic boulders, carved, lined with copper leaf, and fitted so that they sit slightly apart and seemingly radiate heat. The stones are embellished with the Treaty 20 Clan Dodems.

"To think that the Gathering Space evolved from discussion on replacing a dilapidated Nogojiwanong sign in the park. Sites like this one are crucial tools in educating the public on historical and cultural contributions that First Nations have made to this Country," remarked Tom Cowie, representative from Hiawatha First Nation.

“As an Anishinaabe person, I see stones as animate, as having agency and memory,” said artist Michael Belmore. “This work at the water’s edge is a kind of collaboration between human and rock, between human lifetime and geological time, or deep time. These stones were moved and rounded by glacial forces a millennia ago. I am deeply honoured that through this project, Gathering can speak to our continued journey.”

The “Gathering” ribbon cutting marks the completion of the Nogojiwanong Project.

About the Artist

Michael Belmore is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art & Design and completed his Master of Fine Art at the University of Ottawa in 2019. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and is represented in numerous private collections and in the permanent collections of various institutions, including the Art Gallery of Ontario and the National Gallery of Canada.