An Anishinaabe community just east of Sault Ste. Marie is the first in Ontario to get its own customized licence plate.
Graphic licence plates bearing the Garden River First Nation logo were introduced to the community Wednesday. About 200 sets of plates are currently available for purchase at the community's band office.
“I think the community has been pretty excited,” said Garden River First Nation Chief Andy Rickard, who was one of the first 15 people to purchase a set of the new licence plates Wednesday. “This is something that’s unique for our community, but I also think it’s really setting the tone for other communities.”
The idea for graphic licence plates first came to Garden River First Nation Coun. Brandi Nolan after seeing a number of Michigan licence plates with the Bay Mills Indian Community logo while attending that community’s pow wow last summer.
“I came back home and wrote directly to Service Ontario,” Nolan said.
Two political territorial organizations, Anishinabek Nation and Nishnawbe Aski Nation, have their own licence plates. “But no other First Nation has their own licence plate,” said Nolan.
Motorists interested in the new plates can purchase a set in person for $90 at the Garden River First Nation Administration Building or by sending an email to [email protected].
The plates can also be registered in the parking lot of the administration building on Wednesdays when the Niigaaniin Services Mobile Hub rolls into Garden River. The weekly schedule for the hub can be found on Niigaaniin’s social media page.
“It’s nice to work hand in hand with the Niigaaniin hub here, and it reinforces our ability to do some good things,” Rickard said.