The chiefs and elders of the Stoney Nakoda Nation have revealed a brand new title for a mountain peak close to Canmore that has lengthy been referred to by a derogatory slur.
The mountain, which is situated close to the summit on Mount Charles Stewart, has been recognized for the reason that 1920s as S–w’s T-t.
Una Wesley, an elder ladies with the Stoney Nakoda Nation who took half within the renaming ceremony, says that when she first heard the title of the mountain, it reminded her of her life in residential faculties.
“I grew up within the residential college and discrimination. That is 2020 and girls must be honoured,” she mentioned at the Canmore Customer Centre on Tuesday.
She says the current backlash prompted her and others to take the lead in renaming the height and honour it at a ceremony.
“I would like the youthful technology to know the historical past of the individuals and it’ll give us extra energy and extra braveness to be pleased with who we’re,” she mentioned.
The brand new title for the mountain is Bald Eagle Peak, which within the Stoney Nakoda language is Anûkathâ Îpa.
Wesley says the title is supposed to acknowledge the Stoney ladies who’re traditionally often known as warriors and healers.
“They have been cherished, liked and have been handled kindly. That is why I assumed in regards to the historical past of the Stoney and the place I received all these tales from.”
The First Nation elders say whereas the title is new to most people, it is one thing their ancestors have been utilizing all alongside.
One other elder with the Stoney Nakoda Nation, Buddy Wesley, says the event is a milestone for reality and reconciliation.
“This mountain could be very sacred to us and it has been a very long time coming,” he mentioned on the Tuesday ceremony, the place the brand new title was introduced.
“This [old name] is hurtful to many tribes throughout Canada, particularly all of the Indigenous ladies, so we’re going to counteract with the title that has been in existence.”
These elders are working with volunteers to use to the Alberta Geographical Names Program with the brand new title within the hopes it’ll catch on.
Canmore Mayor John Borrowman mentioned on the ceremony that you will need to have the province assign an official title to the landmark.
“It has been recognized for many years by an unofficial title that’s each racist and misogynistic. It’s so embarrassing and flawed for our society and tradition to perpetuate that,” he mentioned.
“We thank the Stoney Nakoda for bringing a correct title ahead to the height, one which acknowledges and celebrates the lengthy historical past right here of the First Nations individuals.”
Within the works since 2014
Two Alberta legal professionals, Jude Daniels and Natasha Egan, have been working since 2014 to discover a formal title for the landmark.
“(We) are simply disgusted by the title,” Egan mentioned in an interview from Calgary.
“Colloquially, individuals name it ‘The T-t.’ So the racism was dropped however the misogyny stays.”
The phrase s—w got here from the Algonquin language and as soon as merely meant girl, however the phrase has developed right into a time period to disparage Indigenous ladies.
Egan mentioned she and Daniels, who’s Metis and works with Aboriginal communities, spoke to the province and the Stoney Nakoda Nation to assist convey ahead a conventional Indigenous title for the landmark.
There have been two current makes an attempt to formally title the height, however the Alberta Historic Assets Basis board rejected each.
Ron Kelland, a historic locations analysis officer and geographical program co-ordinator with Alberta Tradition, mentioned the primary suggestion used the second half of the present title.
“For apparent causes, the board didn’t discover that acceptable,” he mentioned.
One other proposal instructed the spot be known as Mom’s Mountain, however Kelland mentioned that was additionally rejected as a result of the board needed to pursue a conventional or Indigenous title.
The derogatory nickname is utilized in a number of climbing and climbing guides, on Google Maps and on many path web sites — though Egan mentioned it has been modified on some. She and Daniels have been ready for a brand new title earlier than addressing the difficulty with Google.
Egan mentioned the push for an official title has taken on a good stronger that means with ongoing protests over Black and Indigenous rights throughout the US and Canada.
“There’s been an awakening in our nation and south of us,” she mentioned. “We’ve got an actual alternative.
“It might be symbolic … nevertheless it’s essential. Phrases damage. Phrases matter.”