Ottawa campus names streets after traditional Anishinaabe names

All four of the Ottawa campus’ roads were officially named as city streets on Oct. 19. These names are Wajashk Private, Nigig Private, Adjidjàk Private and Wàbisheshì Private. The changes came as part of Algonquin College’s Indigenization Strategy of embedding Indigenous ways of knowing into the strategic planning process and beyond. Not only will the […]
Photo: Mathew Dicsi
City of Ottawa employees setting up the new street signs for Adjidjàk Private and Nigig Private on Oct. 19

All four of the Ottawa campus’ roads were officially named as city streets on Oct. 19. These names are Wajashk Private, Nigig Private, Adjidjàk Private and Wàbisheshì Private.

The changes came as part of Algonquin College’s Indigenization Strategy of embedding Indigenous ways of knowing into the strategic planning process and beyond.

Not only will the streets be officially named, but each building will be given a unique address, with D-building and H-building sharing one.

In a statement, the college said the changes will “improve organization, accessibility, and efficiency.”

One improvement is better deliveries for students ordering food. With the building-specific addresses, co-ordination between students ordering food and those delivering food will be easier.

“A student in residence calling to ask for a pizza delivery could send the address of 1385 Woodroffe,” said Ryan Southwood, executive director of Facilities Management. “It depends where the pin falls, but sometimes the pin falls on G-building so G-building ends up with deliveries that just get left there.”

The Algonquin Times reached out to the Mamidosewin Centre for comment on the street naming program but didn’t hear back by deadline.

The new street names were chosen by the Indigenous Education Council which prioritized names based on cultural and historical significance.

“The actual authority to use the names is given by the city and the signs are city signs, but the streets are owned by Algonquin College.” said Southwood.

Not everyone thinks this change gets to the heart of the issue.

“The traditional language is a beautiful thing,” said program manager of applied research Brenda Slomka. “But I’m tired of checkboxes.”

An updated map of the campus can be found here.

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