The First Prime Minister-named Ottawa Parkway will get a new Indigenous Name by Fall

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Canada _ (Commonwealth Union) _ By fall 2023, the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway in Ottawa named after Canada’s first prime minister will get a new indigenous name, based on a First Nations “naming and engagement exercise.”

The National Capital Commission (NCC), a Crown corporation, board of directors unanimously decided to rename the parkway on January 19 to “honor the longstanding and essential tie of the Algonquin Nation to the Ottawa River along which the Parkway travels.” At a ceremony on September 30, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, the new name will be revealed.

The parkway, a picturesque four-lane road, will have its name changed a third time. Previously known as the Ottawa River Parkway, it was renamed in Macdonald’s honor a little more than ten years ago. According to the NCC, in 2012, it cost $60,000 to replace the four significant signage that line the route.

Three members of the Ottawa City Council recommended that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau launch an indigenous-led process to rename the parkway, which was first proposed in June 2021. In order to “create a more open decision-making process for naming and rebranding NCC-managed assets,” the NCC amended its toponymy policy in April of last year.

Along with the creation of the Advisory Committee on Toponymy (ACT), which was also announced at the time by the commission, the committee includes members of the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation and the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation as well as specialists in local and national history.

Native American languages and place names often include tales, cultural allusions, and the potential for a better understanding of the geography and history that have shaped our area. The Algonquin Nation is the host nation of the National Capital Region, and the NCC is devoted to honoring and showcasing Indigenous culture and tradition, according to Tobi Nussbaum, CEO of the NCC.

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