Nogojiwanong Project public artwork installation

full bike rack

Nogojiwanong Project interpretive panels

Peterborough, ON – A new public artwork created by Michael Belmore will be installed as part of the Nogojiwanong Project on Monday, October 3, 2022 at the south end of Millennium Park next to the Trans Canada Trail.

Belmore’s work will become the focal point of a gathering place created in 2019 when a series of interpretive panels were unveiled at that site in the first phase of the Nogojiwanong Project. The panels highlight the evolution of local treaties and inherent rights of Indigenous peoples.

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 – the agreement between the Michi Saagiig peoples and the British Crown that made it possible for Europeans to settle in this region.

“This has been a very thought-provoking project that the Michi Saagiig Nation of Treaty 20 and the City of Peterborough have worked on. It shows and reminds everyone of a relationship that was developed before Canada existed.  This collaboration continues to show the duration and strength of this relationship that still exists and reminds us that we are all Treaty people,” said Tom Cowie of Hiawatha First Nation.

“Today is National Truth and Reconciliation Day, but it’s essential for us to learn, reflect and work on meaningful actions all year long,” said Mayor Diane Therrien. “In order to have reconciliation, we must first talk about and acknowledge truth. Thank you to everyone who contributed to the Nogojiwanong Project. I’m grateful that our community has a place focused on learning and reflecting on the history of Williams Treaty Territory, the traditional territory of the Michi Saagiig Anishinaabeg, and I look forward to the new artwork that will enhance the experience.”

Michael Belmore’s new work, entitled “Gathering,” complements the panels and anchors the space. It 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 Totems or Dodems as they are called in Anishinaabemowin.

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 the permanent collections of various institutions and numerous private collections.

Nogojiwanong is an Anishinaabe word meaning “place at the foot of the rapids” and the name given to the landing at the bottom of a turbulent stretch of the Otonabee River, renamed Peterborough by European settlers.

Millennium Park on the western shoreline of the Otonabee River is the site of the trailhead to the Chemong Portage – a six- or seven-mile historic footpath between the Otonabee River and Chemong Lake, the route that the Michi Saagig navigated between their winter camps and fishing grounds for thousands of years.

This work marks the completion of the Nogojiwanong Project.