December 15th, 2023
Sunrise Ceremony for St. Matthew House – 412 Barton
The property at 412 Barton, next door to St. Matthew’s House, will be converted to 15 deeply affordable apartments. A Sunrise Ceremony was held to launch the project, honouring the site as it starts its new journey as homes for Black and Indigenous seniors facing homelessness.
It was important to recognize the land as originally belonging to Indigenous people, and that St. Matthew’s House (founded by the Anglican ministry) is working on this project as an action of truth and reconciliation. It is also seen as an act of reconciliation and inclusion of the Black community in work of equity and justice together. In thanking the land for hosting a food bank for many years and serving thousands in the city who have faced hunger and poverty, St. Matthew’s House honoured the land and people through words and rituals celebrating the future residents who will call 412 Barton home, with a smudging ceremony and African drumming. The event was held outside, in solidarity with future residents who are currently or close to being homeless.
Speakers from the Hamilton Regional Indian Centre, the Afro-Canadian Caribbean Association, the City of Hamilton, and building partners Assembly, New Commons and Jackman Construction shared excitement for the 412 Barton concept. Performer, artist and community champion Tom Wilson spoke of building community with love, understanding and awareness of each other’s humanity, and of thinking and working ahead for seven generations ahead.