North Commuter Parkway Bridge Shortlist of Names Announced
As part of the community-led bridge naming process, a committee of Métis and First Nation leaders, Elders and City representatives have chosen two historical figures and two Cree words as potential names for the North Commuter Parkway (NCP) Bridge.
The four names (in alphabetical order) gathered from the community are: Chief Mistawasis (miss-tuh-WA’-sis), Louis Riel, Waniskâ (WOHN’-skuh) and Wîcîhitowin (wee-chee-HEE’-toh-win).
Waniskâ is a Cree word meaning ‘to arise’ and Wîcîhitowin is a Cree word meaning ‘to help mutually’ or ‘the act of helping one another’.
The NCP Bridge Naming Committee revealed the names today at the Roxy Theatre. Four educational vignettes were screened for students from local community groups, elementary and high schools which explained the significance of each one selected for the shortlist.
“In naming the bridge, it shows our commitment to answering the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action and the process of reconciliation,” says Saskatoon Tribal Council Chief Mark Arcand.
“We are all committed to a better future, and we value everyone’s participation. Reconciliation is about understanding the past and choosing to build a better future. It’s about respecting each other and building trust.”
The committee is now asking the community to ‘share their voice’ on the short-listed four names. It’s asking for input via an online and television campaign, as well as providing opportunities for people to provide feedback in-person at a number of free public and community screenings.
“We encourage the community to watch the vignettes and begin their own educational journey about the names and their significance to our shared history,” says Judy Pelly, Elder and Indian residential school survivor.
There will also be specific sessions organized for groups such as newcomers, youth, seniors/old people and people living with disabilities. The deadline to provide feedback is March 31, 2018.
“Our aim is to encourage respectful dialogue and conversation within our community, and bring a greater awareness and understanding of Aboriginal history and culture,” Shirley Isbister, President, Central Urban Métis Federation Inc.
“It’s also an exciting opportunity for our school children, our youth, and the entire community to be part of our history and come together in the spirit of reconciliation.”
The community-led project responds directly to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action #79: Participate in a strategy to commemorate Aboriginal People’s history and contributions to Canada.
The NCP Bridge Naming Committee consists of community leaders from the Office of the Treaty Commissioner, Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, Saskatoon Tribal Council and Central Urban Métis Federation.
For more details on the naming process and how to provide feedback online and in-person, visit Saskatoon.ca/namethencp.
Under the City of Saskatoon’s Strategic Goal of Quality of Life, this project supports the recognition of our built, natural, and cultural heritage. The naming of civic facilities celebrates the history, environment, and outstanding contributions of our diverse community.