Indigenous artist creates signature planter for Nokiidaa trail

The planter by Donald C. Chretien was unveiled in honor of National Indigenous Peoples Day

Together with artist Donald C. Chretien and writer Lauri Hoeg, today, the Town of East Gwillimbury honored National Indigenous Peoples Day with the unveiling of a signature planter and interpretive sign at the Nokiidaa Trail Head on Yonge Street.

Donald C. Chretien designed and built the signature planter that features a canoe and images of a martin, crane, bear, and deer, as they travel together in the canoe. The title of the piece is “Inaawanidiwag”, which translates to “They travel together”.

The story behind the piece is installed on an interpretive sign completed by Lauri Hoeg, a member of the Chippewas of Georgia Island First Nation.

“This signature planter and interpretive sign honors the Indigenous culture and moves us forward in our work toward reconciliation,” said Mayor Virginia Hackson. “My hope is that as people begin their journey along this trail – they think about how each of the creatures depend on each other and on the environment to reach their destination.”

The design and construction of the signature planter took approximately five months to complete. The planter is an 18-foot cedar canoe with a mix of paint and lasered steel artwork incorporated into the design.

Residents are invited to join the town for its Summer of Parks celebrations throughout East Gwillimbury.

To find information on upcoming park and trail openings, visit


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