Accidental Beach an opportunity
Petition asks for name honouring indigenous roots of city
To some it’s an accidental beach but to many others, it’s so much more.
In fact, over 300 people believe Accidental Beach gives the city a chance to honour the city’s Indigenous population as a nod to the city’s roots.
Dubbed Accidental Beach when it inadvertently appeared on the shores of the North Saskatchewan River, there is now chance the beach could be named something Indigenous if Jodi Calahoo-Stonehouse and those who signed the petition have their way.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity for us to engage with both non-Indigenous and Indigenous people and build those relations on something we all love and appreciate,” CalahooStonehouse says, adding she started the petition with her friend Sameer Singh.
“I think it’s important that we include all citizens and the folks who have been here all along prior to other folks settling in. Let’s hear their stories.”
It’s going to be a long process though, she admits.
“It’s going to take time, it’s going to take investment, it’s going to take resources. It would be amazing if we could find a name together that captures the magic of us swimming together, fishing together and being together.”
Calahoo-Stonehouse says local elders have confirmed that the land already has names that she hopes will be considered in the process.
“Our dream is that we can bring… our city together with Indigenous youth and elders and have a conversation to come up with a name that is suitable for that lovely place we all want to take care of.”
Cory Sousa, a principal planner at the City of Edmonton, says city council first must decide if the beach will stay in its current form, before the naming process begins.
“If it’s a long process, that’s okay; we want everyone to be proud and connected to it,” he says, adding he likes the idea of it becoming an Indigenous name to honour the past.
I think it’s important that we include all citizens and the folks who have been here all along prior to other folks settling in. let’s hear their stories. Jodi Calahoo-Stonehouse
a new downtown beach was named accidental Beach when it unexpectedly appeared on the shores of the north saskatchewan River.