The 100-kilometre Credit Valley Trail (CVT) will span the Credit River Watershed – from the hills of the headwaters in Orangeville to the mouth of the Credit River in Mississauga. The entire Credit River Watershed is situated on the Treaty Lands and Territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation (MCFN) and the traditional territory of the Huron-Wendat and Haudenosaunee. As such, empowering Indigenous peoples is central to the CVT vision.
Accompanying the collective goal to connect the route, Credit Valley Conservation (CVC) and CVT partners are committed to developing dedicated space along the trail to recognize and honour Indigenous knowledge, history and present-day culture. The CVT Indigenous Roundtable (IRT), an Indigenous led committee made-up of community representation from the MCFN, Cree and Huron-Wendat First Nations, is guiding the planning process to achieve this goal.
In collaboration with CVC and CVT partners, the IRT finalized the Indigenous Experience Plan (IEP) in 2019, accelerating their vision to bring Indigenous culture and experiences to life along the trail. The plan provides a set of recommendations to showcase Indigenous culture through trail markers, public art installations and gathering spaces. You can learn more about the Indigenous Experience Plan.
You can help support the development of Indigenous placemaking along the CVT.
Following the Indigenous Experience Plan, the IRT have identified seven key sites to be constructed along the CVT route. Each site will be represented by an Anishinaabe dodem (clan system) and incorporates an Indigenous experience narrative that includes storytelling, teachings, symbology and other cultural elements.
CVC and the IRT are currently developing Key site #1 and #2.
Key Site #1 – The Crane Gathering Space
The first step on our journey begins with the construction of the Crane Gathering Space, an Indigenous cultural feature that will be located at Island Lake Conservation Area in Orangeville, the northern trailhead of the CVT.
Once constructed, the Crane Gathering Space will be a space for community-building, teaching, ceremony and other events. Its creation brings a dedicated space for Indigenous peoples to express their culture and language and deepen their ancestral connections and traditional understandings of the Credit River and surrounding valleylands. As an inclusive space, it will also be a public space for educational and recreational programming.
The Credit Valley Conservation Foundation has already secured $750,000 (75 per cent) of the funds needed to build this space. You can become a part of this incredible journey to learn from our past and build present and future connections to the Indigenous significance of the Credit River Valley.
You can help support the remain 25 per cent of this project to develop Indigenous placemaking along the CVT.
Key Site #2 – The Fish Dodem
The second key site is the Fish dodem, located at CVC’s Charles Sauriol Conservation Area along the trail in Caledon.
Elements of the Fish site will bring rightful attention to the critical brook trout habitat and the historical presence of salmon in this area.
Moccasin Identifier Project
CVC and the CVT project are proud supporters of the Moccasin Identifier Project, led by Elder Carolyn King, and look forward to integrating the moccasin along the entire length of the CVT route.
Elder Carolyn King developed this project in partnership with Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation and the Ontario Greenbelt Foundation, to promote public awareness of significant cultural historic sites and the ancestral presence of First Nations, Metis and Indigenous communities.
How You Can Support Indigenous Placemaking Along the CVT
- Make an online donation today.
- Make a donation via mail or phone. You can download our printable CVCF donation form and return with your cheque or money order, or call 905-670-1615 to make a donation by credit card.
- Get your business or community organization involved. You have the opportunity to have a direct and profound impact on our community. Whether it is through sponsorships, donations, services or volunteers there are countless ways we can work together. Please contact Sharlene Hardwar, Philanthropy Specialist, at 647-285-8738 or [email protected].
- Interested in getting involved with the Credit Valley Trail or support these transformative initiatives? Please contact Natalie Faught, Credit Valley Trail Coordinator at [email protected].