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NCC approves renaming of Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway to Kichi Zībī Mīkan

The National Capital Commission’s board of directors has voted to rename the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway in Ottawa to the Kichi Zībī Mīkan, which translates to “Great River Road.”

Indigenous community groups and Ottawa city councillors had urged the NCC to make the change because of Macdonald’s role in the creation of residential schools.

The route through Ottawa’s west end was formerly known as the Ottawa River Parkway, but Stephen Harper’s Conservative government renamed it after Canada’s first prime minister in 2012.

The NCC says the new name was selected through an Algonquin naming and engagement exercise, and the new name references the Algonquin name for the Ottawa River — Kichi Zībī.

NCC CEO Tobi Nussbaum says the amended name reflects the federal Crown corporation’s commitment to Indigenous culture and heritage.

The change will take effect in September, with a ceremony unveiling new signage planned for the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Sept. 30.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 22, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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