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The Ottawa thoroughfare named for Canada’s first prime minister is set to get a new Indigenous name later this year under a plan announced Thursday by the National Capital Commission.

In 2012, the former Conservative government of Stephen Harper renamed the Ottawa River Parkway the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway. But three Ottawa city councilors wrote to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in 2021 urging the federal government to facilitate an Indigenous-led consultation process to rename the four-lane parkway along the Ottawa River.

Now the capital commission, a federal Crown corporation responsible for development, urban planning and conservation in the capital region, has set a renaming process amid a national reassessment of Macdonald’s record, particularly on Indigenous issues.

“This renaming approach will be anchored in the perspective of honouring the profound significance of the river, shoreline and landscape to Indigenous peoples – specifically the Algonquin Nation – who had formally requested the NCC consider renaming the Parkway,” said a capital commission statement available here.

“Other considerations include the existence of many other place names of Canada’s first Prime Minister in the National Capital Region, as well as the fact that the original name of the Parkway referred to its physical relationship with the river.”

The commission said Thursday it will engage with Indigenous communities and the public to discuss a new name and to encourage storytelling and sharing with the community.

A new Indigenous name is to be selected this spring, and is to go to the capital commission board in June. New signage along the parkway is to be unveiled in the fall, according to the capital commission statement.

There’s a story here on Thursday’s development.

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