This past Sunday, in conjunction with the National Aboriginal Day of Prayer, and our Easter program "Continuing in Reconciliation", we learned the traditional Cree name for this area around Edmonton.
To my surprise, I received a newsletter from the City of Edmonton with this tag line at the end (a direct quote):
City of Edmonton - amiskwacîwâskahikan ᐊᒥᐢᑲᐧᒋᐋᐧᐢᑲᐦᐃᑲᐣ
9th Floor Edmonton Tower
10111-104 Avenue NW
Edmonton AB T5J 0J4
I don't know when they started including the cree name - or maybe I just hadn't noticed before. It is amazing how, when you learn something, you begin to see it everywhere.
I am still working to let "Beaver-Hills-House" roll off my tongue, but I enjoy learning about this part of our heritage that I did not know before.
New Zealand has a much more visible blend of European and Mauri culture together, and I perceive it as a real strength in that country. Perhaps learning awkward phrases in the traditional language of this place will lead us into deeper strength and shared life together. Give it a try:
Amisk = Beaver
wacî = Hills or Mountain (pronounced cf. 'wachee')
wâskahikan = House (pronounced cf. 'was-sky-ikan')