The City of Saskatoon held a celebratory ceremony Thursday afternoon to mark the unveiling of the first miyo-wahkohtowin Road signs.

The road was renamed from John A. Macdonald road earlier this year.

Macdonald, Canada’s first prime minister, played a significant role in the development of Canada’s residential school system.

“This is a pivotal moment in our city’s history,” Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark told the students and staff of wahkohtowin school along with the many dignitaries gathered for the ceremony.

“The name miyo-wahkohtowin reflects the intention and act of reconciliation, including in the thoughtful and difficult process that brought together members of the community and people who continue to be impacted by residential schools and the legacy of John A. Macdonald,” said Clark.

In a unique setting, the city broadcast the road sign unveiling live to students and staff at the school to the applause of the students.

(The wahkohtowin school drummers play an honour song for the students, staff and dignitaries gathered for the ceremony.  Photo by Joel Willick.)

The City of Saskatoon says they will be working with residents who live on the road to streamline any steps required to adapt to the change.

The city also says the name miyo-wahkohtowin, which means “good relationship in Cree, was chosen in consultation with Indigenous leaders, residential school survivors, elders and knowledge keepers.

The process to change the road name began in June of 2021 with City Council providing final approval to the name change in September of this year.