By Kelly Anne Smith
NORTH BAY – North Bay will have a new name for the next August Civic holiday to reflect the Indigenous beginnings and current Indigenous culture in the city. But there is still a step to clear before council approves a community chosen name.
Councillor George Maroosis was asked by Mayor Al McDonald to bring the name change before North Bay City Council. Maroosis moved it with full support from the other councillors.
The strong bond between Nipissing First Nation and North Bay is written into the motion. The motions mover, Councillor Maroosis says the name will reflect the true spirit of the day.
Maroosis points to Wendy Abdallah for the idea of changing the name. “She is the partner of Mayor Al McDonald. She suggested that changing the name of the Civic holiday would be respectful.
“Tracy Restoule was then instrumental in opening our eyes to the lack of Nipissing First Nation presence in the downtown and waterfront areas, even though North Bay sits on Nipissing First Nation traditional territory. The mayor’s office and the Chief’s office are definitely talking positively on the name change.”
A community circle committee has chosen Zoongaabwidda Giiahgad which means Standing Strong Together in Anishinaabemowin.
Maroosis says part of the July motion involved having a committee formed to decide if the new name is marketable and agreeable to everyone.