Partnership news release with Township of Muskoka Lakes and Wahta Mohawks First Nation
November 22, 2022 (Muskoka, ON) – As part of the Muskoka Area Indigenous Leadership Table’s strengthening Indigenous municipal relationships strategy, the District of Muskoka, Wahta Mohawks First Nation, and the Township of Muskoka Lakes are working on a collaborative approach to enrich the name of Muskoka Road 38, the road that connects communities and passes through the Wahta Mohawk Territory.
Three potential names for Muskoka Road 38 will be proposed by Wahta Mohawks First Nation after consultation and engagement with Wahta community members in 2023. A new name will then be recommended by a tri-council committee involving elected officials from the three governing bodies and proposed to Muskoka District Council for a formal resolution.
Road names can reveal a lot about a community – and how they want their history to be remembered.
The Muskoka Area Indigenous Leadership Table felt renaming Muskoka Road 38 provided an opportunity to strengthen the broader community’s understanding of the Wahta Mohawk’s history, language and culture and help non-Indigenous residents on their path to reconciliation.
This pilot project represents the first-ever road renaming project the District of Muskoka has undertaken and will help inform the renaming efforts of other local roads and public assets in the future.
The partnership anticipates benefits from this renaming effort to include:
- Increased community awareness of Wahta Mohawk culture, language and history;
- Increased community awareness of, and commitment to, Truth and Reconciliation, as well as the Truth and Reconciliation Committee’s 94 Calls to Action;
- Increased community commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and anti-racism; and
- Stronger Indigenous-municipal relations.
Muskoka Road 38 will soon have a number, and an important name.
Similar to other District roads throughout Muskoka, Muskoka Road 38 will have both a number and a name. For example, Muskoka Road 26 is also known as Mortimer’s Point Road.
While this is an exciting project and undertaking, the partnership recognizes there will be questions and impacts to community members who own properties along Muskoka Road 38 or similarly named offshoot roads. The District has established a working group to guide this project and offer resources and support during this road to renaming.
The District of Muskoka, in partnership with Wahta Mohawks First Nation and the Township of Muskoka Lakes looks forward to updating the community in 2023 when a new name is selected. For more information on the Road to Renaming project, and to stay updated on the latest news – please visit www.engagemuskoka.ca/road38