District of Muskoka council approved naming Muskoka Rd. 38 Kanien’kehá:ka Iohatátie, translated to Mohawk People Rd. in English.
On the district’s website, they published an audio clip of how to pronounce the name.
The change still needs to be approved by Muskoka Lakes council before the road can be renamed. Officials with the District of Muskoka expect that to happen in April.
The name was one of three put forward by the Wahta Mohawks First Nation. They were part of a tri-council meeting in Feb., also involving the district and the Township of Muskoka Lakes. The road was selected to be renamed because it’s where the Wahta Mohawks administration building is located.
Peter Koetsier, Mayor of the Township of Georgian Bay, chaired the meeting.
“It has been a pleasure working alongside representatives of the District of Muskoka and Township of Muskoka Lakes as we continue toward a history-making name change to the road that runs through our community,” says Chief Philip Franks with the Wahta Mohawks First Nation. “The new name, Kanien’kehá:ka Iohatátie, recognizes the Wahta Mohawks as a people and the territory where we live. Kanien’kehá:ka Iohatátie is no longer a number on a map, it now indicates an active community of people who have a unique language, culture, and history in Muskoka.”
The renaming of Muskoka Rd. 38 will be the first time a road in Muskoka has been renamed in honour of local Indigenous history.
“Recognizing Indigenous culture and history is a collective effort that requires strong partnerships,” says District Chair Jeff Lehman. “This process is an example of how collaboration can lead to meaningful change. By working together, we can ensure that the histories, cultures, and languages of indigenous peoples are recognized and respected in our communities.”