Emo council is seeking guidance

·2 min read

Emo council unanimously agreed to proceed with steps to initiate a name change for Colonization Street. The resolution was brought up during the March 24 regular council meeting.

The decision to address the need to change the name was decided in late January of this year.

Coun. Lincoln Dunn said as council moves forward with this project, it is critical to involve members of the neighbouring Indigenous communities to help guide council in the renaming process.

Dunn said council has been in discussion about speaking to the folks at Rainy River First Nations and with Chief Robin McGinnis about how they can contribute to the discussion.

“I think we also need to be certain that we include any other voices from the region,” Dunn said.

Dunn also brought up the possibility of speaking with the chiefs of the PWI-DI-GOO-ZING-NE-YAA-ZHING Advisory Services (Fort Frances Chief Secretariat) for guidance.

He adds that in the past they have been able to provide important information for non-Indigenous communities and it would be incumbent upon council to seek their advice on whether it’s acceptable to expect that Rainy River First Nations be the ones to speak to or if there are other communities who they feel it is important to have a voice in the process as well.

“It might be okay for us to step a little bit further and to inquire with the chiefs to make certain that that’s the right path going forward,” Dunn said.

Coun. Harrold Boven echoed his support for Dunn’s ideas, adding that he also thinks it is important to recognize other neighbouring Indigenous communities.

“We need to be cautious how we say and do things but also at the same time, understanding that we’re on a journey together to resolve some of the issues that are there,” Boven said.

Coun. Lori Ann Shortreed said that moving forward it is important that council keeps an ongoing and honest conversation and to come up with a name that is going to work for all parties involved.

Council agreed to forward a letter to the Fort Frances Chief Secretariat to request attendance at the next Chief Secretariat meeting.

The news comes shortly after the Fort Frances council recently unanimously voted to approve the recommendation to rename Colonization Road East and Colonization Road West. Along with the approval to rename Colonization Roads, all councillors voted for an educational component to the name change.

The name change in Fort Frances will not take effect until 2022.

Natali Trivuncic, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Fort Frances Times