By Jamie Lee McKenzie
KEBAOWEK FIRST NATION – With a lot of community support, a big change is happening to Eagle Village First Nation. After years of being known as Eagle Village First Nation, the community has voted and agreed that it would be best if the community returned to the original name of Kebaowek First Nation.
It was back in the 1980’s when the reserve changed the name from Kebaowek Indian Reserve to Eagle Village First Nation. “When the communities name was changed in the 80’s, it was only a small minority,” says Chief Haymond, “it really didn’t make sense, we went from an Algonquin name to Eagle Village so I always thought about changing it.”
The previous Chief and Council began the process of consulting the community, when Chief Haymond was elected in June 2015 he continued the process.
“The previous council had done a lot of the work, they had consulted the community and it was an overwhelming support for the name to be changed back to what it originally was,” says Chief Haymond.
The community has tremendously supported the decision.
“When I decided to run for Chief again, I knew it was an opportunity to bring back our original name to the community, I thought it was an important issue and honestly, it was really to reflect the recognition of the Chief who named this community; Mike McKenzie,” says Chief Haymond.
However, along with changing of the name, the logo also has to change. “[Kebaowek] never really had an official logo, we had a number of different logos that were used, but we never had a formal logo,” says Haymond.
Only after becoming Eagle Village First Nation did the reserve have an official logo. Chief and Council decided that the best way of deciding on a new logo would be to have a logo contest for the community where members could submit their own original logos, while also allowing the community to vote for their favourite logo submission.
“We thought it would be a great idea to encourage our young people to submit what they felt was a logo to represent Kebaowek, which means “the landing place” and we encouraged the people to draw their logos around the meaning,” states Chief Haymond.
“After seeing the various logos at the meeting, I’m very happy we went that way and I just thought it was a great opportunity to showcase the talent we have in this community,” says Chief Haymond.
During this year’s Aboriginal Day celebration, the new logo for Kebaowek First Nation was revealed to the community.
“Aboriginal day is fairly significant to us, so that we as Algonquin people can celebrate our culture and what better day to introduce and showcase the artist and showcase the new logo,” says Chief Haymond.
There were 11 different logos, drawn by 5 different community members, which the community anonymously voted on the night before at a Band Meeting.
The winner of the logo contest was Samantha Green, who was unable to attend the Aboriginal Day celebration.
“I incorporated the Aboriginal in the canoe to represent the Algonquin’s on their journey. The Medicine Wheel represents the different directions the Aboriginals may have been travelling in. The trees, water and sun represent our culture with our land,” stated Samantha Green about her logo design.