Street & Park Name Change: Dewdney to Buffalo in Regina, Saskatchewan
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We propose that the new street name/park be Buffalo or Paskwâwi-mostos or Tatanka or Pte or Iinnii Avenue (all which translate to Buffalo). Buffalo represents a connection to the land, identity and culture of the original people, hardships and resiliency, livelihood, and strength. The buffalo sustained Indigenous nations for millennia. Buffalo contributed to the settling of Canada as the meat, hides and fur were traded between Indigenous peoples and settlers and contributed to the survival of people in climates that were harsh and unforgiving. Renaming would be a true reflection of honouring a legacy unnoticed for so many generations.
Who is Dewdney? Why should this street and park be renamed?
RENAME DEWDNEY AVENUE to “BUFFALO AVENUE” AND DEWDNEY PARK to “BUFFALO MEADOWS”
Edgar Dewdney was Indian Commissioner for the North West Territories (NWT), which included what now is Saskatchewan, from 1879 – 1888. In that role:
· Edgar Dewdney carried out Prime Minister John A. Macdonald’s starvation policy, with-holding food from Indigenous peoples until they moved onto reserves, thus clearing the plains for European settlement.
· Edgar Dewdney violated Treaty promises by not allowing First Nations to select reserve locations.
· Edgar Dewdney oversaw the establishment of the genocidal residential school system in the NWT.
· Edgar Dewdney advised Prime Minister John A. Macdonald to make an example of Louis Riel by having him executed for his part in the 1885 North West Resistance to colonial occupation.
· Edgar Dewdney initiated policies to restrict the movement of First Nations. These policies led to the establishment of the illegal pass system—a system that kept First Nations in the prairies confined to their reserves. This apartheid policy came into effect in 1885 and lasted for nearly 60 years.
Therefore, we, the undersigned, call on Regina City Council, as part of the process of reconciliation:
To rename Dewdney Avenue “Buffalo Avenue” or to use the Indigenous word for Buffalo;
To rename Dewdney Park “Buffalo Meadows”; and
To help educate the public about the reasons for the renaming.
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