Edmonton broadcasts new names for the indigenous neighborhood

Anyone who votes in the local election will notice some new names for their ward

Edmonton residents will see familiar names and faces on the ballot papers while local elections are due, but the names of the community and its departments will be different this year.

The community names were approved by a council vote in 2020 and are indigenous and were selected by a panel of 17 women. The committee consisted of First Nations representatives in Areas 6, 7, and 8 of the Alberta Treaty, and members of the Métis and Inuit communities also assisted.

Here are the new names:

Nakota Isga (District 1)

This name honors the Alexis Nakota Sioux people who settled in the area in 1880.

Anirniq (District 2)

Anirniq is an Inuktitut word and means “breath of life”. Many Inuit flew north to Edmonton from the north to treat tuberculosis in the 1950s and 1960s.

Tastawiyniwak (District 3)

This Cree word for “the people in between” refers to the LGBTQ2S + community. The Cree worldview recognized eight genders, and each person chose where they belonged and was free to move between roles as they wished.

Dene (District 4)

Dene refers to the many tribes and people who settled and now live along the North Saskatchewan River. The Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, Cold Lake First Nations, and Dene Tha First Nations are the communities in Alberta inhabited by Dene.

O-Day’Min (Station 6/2)

This anishinaabe word means “strawberry” or “heartberry” and refers to central Edmonton. Anishinaabe live across Canada in addition to the O’Chiese First Nation near Rocky Mountain House.

Metis (stations 7 and 8)

This Michif word was chosen because the Metis people in this area developed farms near the river. The shape and location of the urban plots still reflect this today.

Sipiwiyiniwak (District 5)

This Cree name honors the “River Cree” people of the Enoch Cree Nation. 2,500 members of the nation live west of this community.

Parrot (District 10)

This means great woodpecker. It honors the leader of the papaschase band. According to city records, after 1880 the federal government forced the band to give up their land south of the North Saskatchewan River.

Pihesiwin (District 9)

A Cree word that means land of thunderbirds. This was chosen because the naming committee decided that the aerial view of the station is shaped like a thunderbird. Pihesiwin stands for “power and awe” in Cree.

Ipiihkoohkanipiaohtsi (District 9 and 10)

A Blackfoot word that honors the traditional areas where bison were harvested.

Karhiio (stations 10 and 11)

Named after a Mohawk word that means “a tall, beautiful forest”, this district honors Michael Karhiio, the head of the Michel Band. The Michel First Nation first settled in the Lac Ste Anne area. You are still fighting for this country today.

Sspomitapi (stations 10 and 11)

This Blackfoot word means “star person” and the name was given to the Iron Creek Meteorite or the Manitou Stone, which was once located near Viking Alberta.

For more information on parish names, see the Edmonton City website.

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