Miyo-wâhkôhtowin (pronounced mee-yo wah-KOH-toh-win) Road is the new name for what was formerly known as John A. Macdonald Road in Saskatoon and the city held a ceremony at wâhkôhtowin School to mark the occasion.
“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,” the city said in a release.
0:56 Saskatoon residential school survivor explains importance of renaming of John A. MacDonald Rd. to city council
Deliberations over the name change have been going on for several months in Saskatoon, with many residents supporting the change and many not supporting it.
Lesley Anderson, director of planning and development with the city, said back in August that the name means and represents good relationships.
“This is a pivotal moment in our city’s history,” said 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.”
The city said this change aligned with its response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action.