City to hold meetings before renaming John A. Macdonald Road

The City of Saskatoon council will begin its series of consultation meetings with Indigenous people and other members of the community as part of the process to rename John A. Macdonald Road.

Reconciliation Road is one name suggested as a replacement.

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Council approved the process after a meeting last month as part of recognizing the harm done to the Indigenous children who were forcibly taken to attend residential schools.

Macdonald, Canada’s first prime minister, has been seen as one of the country’s greatest leaders for his contribution to establishing the country as a nation. His critics, however, are saying he helped built Canada on colonial oppression of Indigenous people.

He was also credited in having a major role in developing the Indian residential school system in the country, where thousands of Indigenous children were forcibly taken away from their families and placed inside the boarding facilities to assimilate them to European culture. The assimilation aimed to take away the unique cultures and languages of the Indigenous students.

The City will be meeting with Indigenous leaders, Elders, and Knowledge Keepers to decide on a replacement name for the road. The City will also listen to the concerns of communities around John A. Macdonald Road and at the answer inquiries they may have.

Council, in a statement, are advising residents to take no action yet since the name of the road has yet to be changed. “It will take time to complete the engagement process before a new name is determined,” the statement reads.

“In the meantime, the City is looking at options to manage potential costs with the address name change and to provide support where possible. Property owners and residents will continue to be provided with updates as available, including timing and next steps.”

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