Saskatoon moves ahead with plans to Indigenize city streets, buildings and spaces
- Fraser Needham | December 12, 2015
Saskatoon is moving ahead with plans to Indigenize city streets, structures, public spaces and areas.
The plans are part of the city’s commitment to Aboriginal engagement and inclusion.
A new report recommends adding the diversity and inclusion consultant from the community development and recreation division to the naming advisory committee.
Individuals and groups can submit name suggestions to the city for new streets, buildings, parks and neighbourhoods.
Some of the broad guidelines for suggestions include people who have made an outstanding contribution to Saskatoon, prominent officials and names of historical or geographical significance.
Saskatoon Director of Aboriginal Relations Gilles Dorval says aside from adding the diversity and inclusion consultant to the naming committee, the city is also making a conscious effort to encourage Aboriginal stakeholders, individuals and students to submit names to the committee.
“We’ve done a couple of initiatives where we’re working with the schools and trying to tie this into their curriculum whether it be social studies, talking about the importance of voting and citizens of the community having some input into our community as it grows,” he says. “The students will work and do some research around the names and put them forward and then they’ll go into the master list.”
The city is also in the process of sending out 1,200 brochures to First Nations and Métis housing authorities describing what the naming policy is and encouraging people to submit.
Some of these housing authorities include the Saskatoon Tribal Council, Central Urban Métis Federation Inc., Sask Native Rentals and Camponi Housing.
“We’re trying to work with the Aboriginal community, any stakeholder groups that can help us get more names put on to the master list,” Dorval says. “We’ve also ensured that we’re following proper cultural protocols to be respectful whether we are dealing with the Métis, First Nations or Muslim communities.”
The report recommending the diversity and inclusion consultant be added to the naming advisory committee was submitted to council on December 2.
As of November, there were 113 names in the unassigned section of the names master list.
Related story: Saskatoon moves ahead on Indigenous engagement and inclusion