- by Abbey Blokland

Are recognition parks for the public or for the person who is being recognized? Mary Miller Park is found on traditional Indigenous burial grounds for the Ojibwe people when Mary Miller was a kindergarten teacher in the twentieth century.

walkingtourmapMary Miller Park is still on an aboriginal place with the two having no relation to each other.

As a community we should honor the deceased buried here and commemorate the history on this piece of land.

Following up with this idea, Mary Miller deserves the proper recognition of having something named for her that related to her life – perhaps the East Ridge Community School’s kindergarten playground near the front entrance of the school.

Over a hundred years ago Mary Miller contributed so much to her community. She is still well known and loved in Owen Sound and adding her name to a kindergarten playground is more logical as she committed many years to instructing young children.

Her teaching career began in 1906 and she taught at four different schools in the area including Ryerson, Dufferin, Victoria, and Alexandra. She was also one of the teachers to speak out for fair teacher wages in the 1920s.

This woman lived for 97 years and was highly active in her community. She was interested in sports and music which led her to coach the girl's baseball team, raise money for the war by taking part in an orchestra, and becoming a part of the Women’s Patriot League. She taught kindergarten for 44 years, and started an organization for prisoners of the war and did not give up until there was peace.

Mary Miller also had many achievements. They started by winning the women's single championship and the Grey County doubles title in tennis with Ralph Cochrane. She was also chosen to be the head of the sports program at the YWCA, and president of the women’s teachers association.

Mary Miller is highly qualified on different accounts for a playground with her name on it where her name can truly be recognized as a role model in this community.

To visit her park, it is found at 2255 3rd Avenue West, Owen Sound. It is at the North end of Kelso beach. The park includes a sign with her name on it and a bench, and is part of the Wiidosendiwag-Walking Together Tour of local Indigenous history.


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