We Are All Treaty People

Chief Mistawasis is the name chosen for Saskatoon’s newest bridge

  • Published - 21/06/2018
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  • Posted By - City of Saskatoon
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Chief Mistawasis is name recommended by the North Commuter Parkway Bridge Naming Steering Committee for the new north-end bridge.

“As we come together to celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day … it’s fitting that we have chosen to name the North Commuter Bridge after Chief Mistawasis to acknowledge the contributions of those who came before us and strived to create a better future,” said Harry Lafond, executive director of the Office of the Treaty Commissioner.

The announcement was made prior to the kick-off of the Rock Your Roots Walk for Reconciliation at Reconciliation Circle in Victoria Park on Thursday. The final recommendation for the name Chief Mistawasis to be applied to the bridge will be presented to City Council in August for formal approval.

“The process to bring us to this day has been one of learning and growth,” said Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark.

“Reconciliation is a journey, and it is a journey that the City of Saskatoon is dedicated to continuing as we seek to bridge the divides within our community. Our Elders have been appealing to us to treat one another as relatives, which is a powerful starting place for building a stronger Treaty relationship for future generations. Thank you to the Elders, Survivors, the bridge naming committee and the entire community for the support and advice in our journey.”

Chief Mistawasis, also known as Pierre Belanger, was one of the most visionary northern plains Indigenous leaders. He was known in the Saskatoon area in hunting bison and played a major role in Treaty 6 negotiations in 1876.

“Prior to, and following Treaty No. 6, Chief Mistawasis was a bridge to changing times between people, communities and Nations,” said Mistawasis First Nation Chief Daryl Watson. “Today, Mistawasis Nêhiyawak follows Chief Mistawasis' legacy and belief in treaties, partnerships, alliances, friendships in sharing territories and all that Creator provides for us all.”

Chief Mistawasis was one of over 400 names that were gathered from the community as part of an extensive community engagement exercise that began in July 2017. The community-led project responds directly to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action #79: Participate in a strategy to commemorate Aboriginal People’s history and contributions to Canada.

The Treaty Commissioner of Saskatchewan would like to acknowledge late Mr. Tyrone Tootoosis and his involvement in this project up until his passing.