New Toronto sign wrap puts focus on Indigenous languages

The famous Toronto sign in Nathan Phillips Square has a new look, to recognize the rights of Indigenous language speakers across the globe. Photo courtesy City of Toronto

The famous Toronto sign in Nathan Phillips Square has a new look, to recognize the rights of Indigenous language speakers across the globe. Photo courtesy City of Toronto

The famous Toronto sign in Nathan Phillips Square has a new look, to recognize the rights of Indigenous language speakers across the globe.

Last month, the city unveiled Rekindle, a sign wrap to acknowledge the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO’s) International Decade of Indigenous Languages (2022 to 2032). Joseph Sagaj, the artist who designed the wrap, attended the unveiling, along with city officials, Elder Dorothy Peters, young people, and singer Zeegwon Shilling.

Selected by a community jury in May, Rekindle is intended to offer a glimpse into how languages are vital to identity, voice, and expression.

Sagaj is Anishinaabe (Ojibwa) of the Sturgeon Clan and is from the remote community of Neskantaga in northern Ontario. Throughout his career, he has shared his ancestry and heritage through his art, featuring Indigenous knowledge, culture, and teachings in several private and public commissions. Sagaj has designed logos, murals, illustrations, and painting projects for various organizations and different governments.

Rekindle will remain on the Toronto sign until fall 2023.

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