Flags Hung In The Foyer Of SKHS

To show our support and solidarity with Four Directions and to make a visible statement against acts of hatred and violence directed towards Indigenous and LGBTQ2S+ communities, we initiated plans to hang the Métis Nation, Six Nations Confederacy, Anishnaabe First Nations People, LGBTQ Rainbow, Kahswentha- Two Row Wampum and Transgender Pride flags in the lobby windows of our SKHS building.

Flag Meanings:

Metis Flag – The figure in the center of a blue field represents the joining of two cultures and as an infinity symbol, represents the immortality of a nation. Métis have a distinct collective identity, customs and way of life, unique from Indigenous or European roots. When the Constitution was repatriated in 1982, First Nations, Inuit and Métis were recognized as Indigenous Peoples with rights under Canadian law. Link

Anishinaabe First Nations People – The Anishinaabeg (Ojibway people) are one of the many Nations of Indigenous people in North America and make up a distinct cultural group. The word Anishinaabe means “original peoples”. Thunderbirds are among the most powerful spiritual beings in Anishinaabe cosmology. They maintain a special, protective relationship to Anishinaabeg. Link

Six Nations Confederacy – The flag of the Iroquois represents the Hiawatha wampum belt. The belt is comprised of thirty eight rows, having a heart as a great tree in the center, on either side there are two squares, all are connected with the heart by white rows of wampum. The belt is the emblem of unity among the Five Nations (Haudenosaunee). The first square on the left represents the Mohawk Nation, Keeper of the Eastern Door. The inner square on the left, represents the Oneida Nation. The white tree in the middle represents the Onondaga Nation. This tree also means that the heart of the Five Nations is single in loyalty to the Great Law of Peace. The Great Peace is lodged in the heart, meaning that the Haudenosaunee council fire is to burn at Onondaga, serving as the capitol of the Haudenosaunee. It also means that the authority is given to advance the cause of peace. The inner square to the right of the heart represents the Cayuga Nation. The last square, represents the Seneca Nation, known as Keeper of the Western Door. The two lines extending from each side of the squares of the belt, from the Mohawk and Seneca Nations represents a path of peace that other Nations are welcome to travel, to take shelter beneath the Great Tree of Peace, and join the Iroquois Confederacy. The sixth Nation, the Tuscorora joined the Confederacy later. Link

Two Row Wampum – (Gä•sweñta’/Kahswentha) As the Haudenosaunee and Dutch discovered much about each other, an agreement was made as to how they were to treat each other and live together. Each of their ways would be shown in the purple rows running the length of a wampum belt. “In one row is a ship with our White Brothers’ ways; in the other a canoe with our ways. Each will travel down the river of life side by side. Neither will attempt to steer the other’s vessel.” The Haudenosaunee and the Dutch agreed on three principles to make this treaty last. The first was friendship; the Haudenosaunee and their white brothers will live in friendship. The second principle is peace; there will be peace between their two people. The final principle is respect. The agreement was understood that it will last forever. Link

Transgender Pride Flag – The Transgender Pride Flag was created by American trans woman Monica Helms in 1999. Helms describes the meaning of the transgender pride flag: “The stripes at the top and bottom are light blue, the traditional color for baby boys. The stripes next to them are pink, the traditional color for baby girls. The stripe in the middle is white, for those who are transitioning or consider themselves having a neutral or undefined gender.” Link

LGTBQ2S New Progress Pride Flag – The rainbow flag (also known as the gay pride flag or LGBT pride flag) is a symbol of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) pride and LGBTQ social movements. The colours represent: Red-Life, Orange-Healing, Yellow-Vitality/Sunlight, Green-Serenity/ Nature, Blue-Harmony, Violet-Spirit. The modern pride flag now includes stripes to represent the experiences of people of colour, as well as stripes to represent who identify as transgender, non-conforming and/or undefined. In 2013, Morgan Carpenter chose the colours yellow and purple for the intersex flag. The purple circle, perfect and unbroken, represents the wholeness of intersex people. It is a reminder that intersex people are perfect the way they are or choose to be. Link.

Watch a video of the installation