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On June 21, the bridge that spans the Saugeen River in Southampton will officially receive its new name.

GC Huston Public School, in consultation with elders from Saugeen First Nation, has chosen the name Zgaa-biig-ni-gaan (Zgaa-beeg-ni-gun) which means ‘we are connected’ or more precisely, ‘from one end to the other, we are connected’.

“We hope that our community and visitors will appreciate the symbolic meaning of the name,” said a June 7 media release from GC Huston. “A bridge that unites a community previously divided in a physical way. Similarly, our gestures of peace, understanding and love toward one another bridge our differences and unites us in a very special way - as one family.”

On National Indigenous Peoples Day, June 21, the community is asked to show support for ‘truthful relationships’ and unity by meeting on the bridge. At 12:50, community members will begin to gather on the bridge from both sides to symbolize the ‘end to end’ connection.

“We will meet in the middle of the bridge to unveil our new road signs and to celebrate our community coming together as one family,” said the release. “We are asking the people of Saugeen Shores and Saugeen First Nation to make plans to be part of our gathering. To support this very special event, we are asking business owners to allow staff members to join us. Our time together will be brief (approximately 15 minutes) but extremely important. It will show our children that their community takes ‘truth and reconciliation’ very seriously and it will be an example of unity to those outside of our community.”

Other events will take place throughout the day for National Indigenous Peoples Day and will include a traditional sunrise ceremony, lighting of the sacred fire, a showing of Part 1 of The Bruce documentary, music in the church courtyard, a community breakfast, vendors, a friendship walk, cultural demonstrations, a traditional feast, a mini pow wow, and more.

The day will conclude with a fireworks display at Sauble Beach at dusk.

For the full schedule of events, click here.

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