Three communities welcome historic monuments


KILLALOE – The communities of Killaloe, Pikwàkanagàn First Nation and Eganville welcomed monuments that are the first of their kind in Canada.

One larger monument and two sister monuments were unveiled in the three communities to honour survivors of sexual violence. It was all part of the Countdown Public Art Project.

The unveilings began in Killaloe on October 15, where more than 50 people gathered in Station Park.

Roberta Della Picca from Pikwàkanagàn First Nation welcomed everyone and reflected on the message that these monuments send to all.

“I really, personally, spent a lot of time thinking about that – could we actually live in a time where there is no longer any sexual violence in our communities, in our homes, in our families?” she said. “I think one reminder for the project is to be accountable, ourselves personally, to what our thoughts and our actions are.”

She said she is proud that Renfrew County is home to these three monuments.

“I don’t need to tell you how difficult it is to report something like sexual assault, especially in a rural community where you are related to, or know, almost everybody,” she said. “There still is stigma attached to sexual violence, unfortunately. Now that this project has been brought to the community, we can bring to light that which has been skulking around in the shadows.”

Get your October 19, 2016 edition of The Valley Gazette to read the full story.