Saskatchewan Examiner

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Changing the city’s first Michif-named street is up for discussion by a committee

First Michif-named street in the city to be discussed by a committee

Key Takeaways:

  • After learning that the word has several connotations, the name of a new street in Saskatoon is being put up for rebranding.

The name of a new street in Saskatoon is being considered for renaming after it was discovered that the word has multiple meanings.

The council will consider Shakamohtaa Street’s proposed renaming after input from City Hall indicated that the Michif word has “various implications for speakers of the numerous Michif language dialects.”

The Michif term or idea of shakamohtaa symbolizes the idea of coming together or connectedness.

The word was initially approved by an Indigenous Elder and was put on the city’s Names Master List in January 2020, along with many other Indigenous language submissions. Early in 2021, it was then put to use on Brighton street.

There have reportedly been multiple discussions about renaming the route with members from the Métis Nation-Saskatchewan, according to the report before the city’s standing committee on planning, development, and community services. According to administration advice, the Métis community should continue to be included in the process of choosing a name.

According to the administration report, one more Michif term, “waahkoomiqayhk,” which denotes the idea of “kinship,” is included on the Names, Master List.

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In a letter to the city council, Métis Nation-Saskatchewan CEO Richard Quintal requested that “Michif” be used as the name of the first street honoring Métis heritage.

When used as a first name, this word strikes at the core of Métis culture. It is frequently used synonymously with the term Métis, and we refer to Michif people, Michif culture, and Michif language,” said Quintal in his letter.

“We will be happy to see a street bear this proud name and look forward to taking part in any associated openings,” the statement continued.

In April 2021, when the street’s naming was originally announced, Mayor Charlie Clark celebrated.

“Although it is long overdue, I’m happy to have the Michif language represented on this Brighton street. Imagine the effects on young people growing up in this area who reside on or close to Shakamohtaa Street. According to Clark, they might have a stronger connection to these origins and the grace of the Michif tongue at the time.

The committee’s 9:30 a.m. meeting on Monday is scheduled to examine the change in street name.

Source: CYV News

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