Learning About Ward O-day’min
“There is an extraordinary collaborative spirit when you are learning and growing.” – Robbie Robertson (Canadian musician of Mohawk descent)
We are approaching a municipal election in October 2021. We will be voting for a new city councillor for our ward, and a new mayor for the City of Edmonton, as both Councillor Scott McKeen and Mayor Don Iveson have chosen not to seek re-election. I thank both of them for their service and wish them well.
Another change is the name of the ward in which we reside. Effective October 18, 2021 (election day) our ward boundaries and name will be changing. To honour the first occupants of the land upon which we reside and the sacred places in Edmonton where Indigenous Peoples have gathered for thousands of years, the wards will have Indigenous names. At the City of Edmonton website (edmonton.ca), you can find maps of the new boundaries, as well as pronunciations and information about what the names mean and how they were chosen.
Boyle Street and McCauley will now be in the ward O-day’min, (pronounced Oh-DAY-min). Here is information about the name, taken from the City of Edmonton website:
O-day’min, the strawberry, or heart berry, represents the heart of Edmonton, amiskwaciwâskahikan. The stem of the heart represents the North Saskatchewan River, the vessels are the waterways, while the veins make up the blood (people). The roots (veins) of the strawberry represent the different cultures that now make up the city.
The O-day’min is a traditional medicine that guided the Anishinaabe (people with the shared culture and language of the Algonquian tribes) understanding of the deep connection between mind, body, spirit and emotions.
I found this description very interesting, and I will be practicing pronouncing my new ward name so I can proudly say, “I reside in O-day’min.”
Ian is a columnist with the paper. He lives in the area.