Road to Reconciliation as Muskoka Road 38 gets new name

A well-travelled route through Wahata Mohawk Territory in Bala was renamed on Friday.

Muskoka Road 38 is now called Kanien’kehá:ka Iohatátie, marking the final phase of Muskoka’s first-ever road renaming project.

The sign on Highway 400 northbound now displays the new name.

“At the end of this month, Wahta Mohawk people and our language will have been in Muskoka for 142 years,” said Wahta Mohawks Chief Philip Franks, in a news release on Friday. “Kanien’kehá:ka Iohatátie brings recognition to Wahta as a Kanien’kehá:ka community in this important time of Truth and Reconciliation. I would like to thank the three parties, Wahta Mohawks, the Township of Muskoka Lakes, and the District of Muskoka, for the collaborative effort in bringing about a lasting change to the area.” 

District Chair Jeff Lehman said the people of Wahta were consulted by their chief and he engaged the community and that was the name the Mohawk people of Wahta came up with.

“Renaming this road and having signage in the Mohawk language is another step in recognizing the whole history of Muskoka, said Jeff Lehman. “For me, it’s been a way to begin to learn the Mohawk language and the history of the Kanien’kehá:ka community.  This reflects the enduring presence of the Mohawk people here in Muskoka.”

Kanien’kehá:ka Iohatátie means “Mohawk People Road” and is a reflection of the people and language of the Wahta Mohawk Territory. 

Audio-visual learning supports have been created by Wahta Mohawks First Nation and can be accessed online at https://youtu.be/EHbpyt70Tec

Image supplied – District of Muskoka

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