The City hosted a ceremony at wâhkôhtowin School to mark the historic installation of the first miyo-wâhkôhtowin Road signs today. John A. Macdonald Road has been renamed miyo (good) wâhkôhtowin (relationship) - pronounced mee-yo wah-KOH-toh-win - as part of the City’s response to the TRC Calls to Action. The renaming of this road recognizes the ongoing harm presented by its former name and a commitment to right past wrongs. John A. Macdonald, Canada’s first prime minister, played a significant role in the development of Canada’s Indian residential school system.
“This is a pivotal moment in our city’s history,” says City of Saskatoon Mayor, Charlie Clark. “The name miyo-wâhkôhtowin reflects the intention and act of reconciliation, including in the thoughtful and difficult process that brought together members of the community and people who continue to be impacted by residential schools and the legacy of John A. Macdonald. I am proud to live in a city that is committed to this work. The city will also continue to support the residents who live on the road to streamline the steps needed to adapt to this change.”
Today’s ceremony began with a smudging ceremony that incorporated a miyo-wâhkôhtowin Road sign. During the program, Elder Roland Duquette provided a teaching on the Cree name miyo-wâhkôhtowin, which he said signified a new day of good relationships to bring residents of the community together.
Attendees at today’s ceremony were invited to witness the installation of one of the first new roads signs at the corner of miyo-wâhkôhtowin Road (formerly John A. Macdonald Road) and Dominion Crescent. Cultural performances were shared by Mii Taant leur Plaas – Saskatoon Public Schools in partnership with Métis Nation–Saskatchewan, and the wâhkôhtowin School Singers.
Significant work took place as part of this renaming process including consultation with Indigenous leaders, Residential School Survivors, Elders and Knowledge Keepers, community residents, youth, and others impacted by residential schools and the legacy of John A. Macdonald. Learn more at saskatoon.ca/engage/renaming.