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Committee set to discuss changing city's first Michif-named street

City administration is looking to rename a new Saskatoon street after the word was revealed to have different meanings.

Council will mull over the recommendation to rename Shakamohtaa Street after feedback received at City Hall said the Michif word had “different meanings for speakers of the different Michif language dialects.”

The word shakamohtaa is a Michif word or concept that embodies the spirit of coming together or connection.

Originally vetted by an Indigenous Elder, the word was added to the city’s Names Master List along with numerous other Indigenous language submissions in January 2020. It was then used on a street in Brighton in early 2021.

The report before the city’s standing committee on planning, development and community services says several discussions have happened with representatives from Métis Nation-Saskatchewan to rename the street. Administration is recommending to continue working with the Métis community to identify an appropriate name.

There is one other Michif word on the Names Master List: “waahkoomiqayhk,” signifying the concept of “kinship,” the administration report said.

A letter from Métis Nation-Saskatchewan CEO Richard Quintal wrote a letter to council asking the first Métis heritage names street be called “Michif.”

“As a first name, this word goes to the heart of Métis culture. For many it is used interchangeably with the word Métis and we speak of Michif language, Michif culture and Michif people,” Quintal said in his letter.

“We will be pleased to see a street carry this proud name and would look forward to participating in any openings related to it.”

Mayor Charlie Clark celebrated the naming of the street when it was first announced in April 2021.

“While it is long overdue, I am glad we will see the Michif language reflected on this street in Brighton. Imagine the impact for kids growing up in this neighbourhood, living on or near Shakamohtaa Street. They will feel a greater connection to these roots and the beauty of the Michif language," Clark said at the time.

The committee is set to discuss the street name change at its meeting on Monday at 9:30 a.m. Top Stories

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