Letter to Prime Minister Trudeau regarding the SJAM parkway

June 2, 2021

To The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau,

We are three city councillors representing the wards in Ottawa through which the Sir John A.
Macdonald Parkway runs, parallel to the Kìchì Sìbì river on the territory of the
Algonquin Anishinaabe.

The Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation’s recent discovery of a mass grave containing the
remains of 215 children at a former Kamloops residential school makes clear that there
is an urgent need to recommit ourselves to the project of reconciliation as a
nation. We are often recalled to the ways place names in our
city perpetuate Canada’s genocide against Indigenous peoples; an obvious example of this
phenomenon is the name of the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway.

As First Nations people across Canada demand justice for the ways they
have been repeatedly failed by our governments and institutions, the need for renaming
this prominent area in the nation’s capital is evident. We are calling for the federal
government to facilitate an Indigenous-led consultation process to rename the Sir John
A. Macdonald Parkway. Let us follow the example set by the city of Charlottetown,
whose councillors voted unanimously on May 31 to remove a statue of Sir John A.
Macdonald from their downtown core and refuse to perpetuate the harmful legacy of
Canada’s first prime minister and architect of the residential school system any longer.

We stand ready to support a renaming initiative that centers the wishes and perspectives of
the Indigenous communities of the Ottawa area, and we urge you to begin this process as
soon as possible. This is a small change that can make a big difference.


Councillor McKenney, Somerset Ward 14
Councillor Leiper, Kitchissippi Ward 15
Councillor Kavanagh, Bay Ward 7

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Address: 110 Laurier Ave W, Ottawa, ON K1P 1J1