On the eve of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, the NCC and its partners mark an important milestone in the Algonquin naming and engagement exercise, with the placement of new signage on the Kichi Zībī Mīkan (parkway).The new signage was unveiled during a ceremony attended by The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and minister responsible for the NCC, NCC Chief Executive Officer Tobi Nussbaum, Chief Dylan Whiteduck, of the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg and Chief Greg Sarazin, of the Algonquins of Pikwàkanagàn First Nation.
Kichi Zībī Mīkan (parkway), pronounced kitchi zee-bee MEE-khan, means “Great River Road.” It refers to the Algonquin name for the river (Kichi Zībī) and the original name for the parkway, the Ottawa River Parkway. This name also highlights the importance of the Ottawa River as a source of community connection and abundance for generations past, present and future. The river has served to build relationships and connect communities.
The new name for the parkway is displayed prominently on new signage, along with the English designation, Kichi Zībī Parkway, and the French designation, promenade Kichi Zībī.
The NCC will continue building on this and other recent initiatives to engage with a variety of ethnocultural groups to further develop its toponymy approach and ensure that the National Capital Region reflects the social and cultural diversity of Canada.
“The renaming of Kichi Zībī Mīkan represents a meaningful step toward reconciliation—in line with the Truth and Reconciliation’s Calls to Action on language, culture, and commemoration. Today serves as a reminder of the importance of inclusivity, cultural respect, and the enduring power of shared narratives. I commend all participants for their leadership in highlighting Indigenous heritage and fostering a deeper understanding for Algonquin cultures and traditions.”
—The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Public Services and Procurement
“The parkway’s new name holds great significance as it reflects the connection Algonquin peoples have to the Ottawa River and its surrounding lands. By honouring this relationship through an Algonquin naming and engagement exercise, we pay homage to the rich cultural heritage and history of the region. We will continue to collaborate with various ethnocultural groups and are committed to shaping a future for the National Capital Region where the landscape meaningfully reflects the heritage and stories of all who have been here.”
—Tobi Nussbaum, Chief Executive Officer, National Capital Commission
“On behalf of the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg Band Council, we want to acknowledge our survivors of the residential school system, their families, and our community. September 30 marks the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, which was proposed by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission as one of its 94 Calls to Action. Also, don’t forget to wear orange as it honours the experiences of First Nations people, celebrates resilience, and affirms a commitment that every child matters. In addition, we are pleased with the renaming of the parkway. This process took many years and extensive lobbying from many Algonquin people. The shores of this parkway were inhabited and occupied by our people since time immemorial.”
— Chief Dylan Whiteduck, Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg
“Naming the parkway, Kichi Zībī Mīkan is a fitting tribute to our Algonquin Nation today and honours our Algonquin ancestors.”
— Chief Greg Sarazin, Algonquins of Pikwakangan First Nation
- In June 2023, the NCC Board of Directors approved a new Algonquin name for the parkway: Kichi Zībī Mīkan (pronounced kitchi zee-bee MEE-khan).
- In spring 2023, the NCC began Algonquin engagement activities, which included storytelling and workshops with community members. Public engagement activities to gather stories about the parkway also took place online and through an in-person public open house and dialogue session.
- In April 2022, the NCC introduced an updated Toponymy Policy to its board of directors. The policy aims to better guide the choice of names for the lands and assets under NCC responsibility and provides a framework that will enable the NCC to reflect the heritage, cultural, ethnic and gender diversity of the National Capital Region.
- The NCC’s Advisory Committee on Toponymy (ACT) is responsible for examining submissions for the naming or renaming of NCC-managed assets and may also be asked to provide advice on other matters related to toponymy.
NCC Media Relations