Edmonton’s Hidden Avenue now Okîsikow Way: Hidden Edmonton Renamed – Okîsikow Way
Okîsikow Way Revealed

By | June 15, 2024

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Hidden Edmonton avenue renamed Okîsikow Way

The hidden Edmonton avenue, formerly known as 101A Avenue, has been officially renamed Okîsikow Way. This change was made official through a ceremony that took place on Friday, honoring the Cree word for “angel.” The City of Edmonton supported the Angel Street Project, raising awareness for victims of domestic violence. June 14 was proclaimed Okîsikow Way Day in 2022, and starting June 1, 2024, the stretch of road will be known as Okîsikow (Angel) Way. The street blade design, created by Gloria Neapetung, features an angel and serves as a tribute to her artistry and activism.

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Hidden Edmonton avenue has officially been renamed Okîsikow Way, marking a significant moment in the city’s history. This change, which was initially an honorary designation in 2011, has now become official, solidifying the importance of recognizing and honoring victims of domestic violence.

The renaming of 101A Avenue to Okîsikow Way is a tribute to the Angel Street Project, a national initiative aimed at raising awareness for victims of domestic violence. The City of Edmonton’s support for this project showcases its commitment to addressing and acknowledging the impact of domestic violence on communities across Canada.

At a ceremony held on Friday, Elisapee Sheutiapik, founder of the Angel Street Project, spoke about her personal connection to domestic violence. She shared the story of her sister’s unsolved death, emphasizing the importance of remembering those lost to violence and challenging others to care and take action.

The official proclamation of June 14 as Okîsikow Way Day in 2022 laid the groundwork for the permanent naming of the avenue as Okîsikow (Angel) Way on June 1, 2024. This decision was made by the city’s naming committee, further solidifying the significance of this tribute to victims of domestic violence.

The street blade for Okîsikow (Angel) Way was designed by Gloria Neapetung, a talented artist and activist who used her creative skills to advocate for social justice causes. Neapetung’s artwork, featuring an angel, adorns the street sign, serving as a lasting reminder of her legacy and commitment to making a difference in her community.

Gloria Neapetung’s journey from a federal women’s prison to becoming a prominent figure in social justice movements is a testament to her resilience and determination. Her involvement in initiatives such as the Edmonton Sisters in Spirit Vigils and the Edmonton Stolen Sisters and Brothers Awareness Walks highlights her dedication to advocating for marginalized communities.

During the naming celebration, Valerie Gow, who worked closely with Neapetung, shared heartfelt memories of their time together. Gow reflected on Neapetung’s challenging past and her transformation into a strong advocate for change, emphasizing her incredible spirit and determination to overcome obstacles.

The renaming of Okîsikow Way is not just a symbolic gesture; it is a tangible reminder of the ongoing fight against domestic violence and the importance of supporting survivors and honoring those who have been lost. By naming the avenue after the Cree word for “angel,” the city of Edmonton is sending a powerful message of remembrance and solidarity.

In conclusion, the official renaming of 101A Avenue to Okîsikow Way represents a significant milestone in Edmonton’s efforts to raise awareness about domestic violence and honor the lives affected by it. This tribute to victims of domestic violence, spearheaded by the Angel Street Project and supported by community activists like Gloria Neapetung, serves as a reminder of the ongoing work needed to create a safer and more inclusive society for all.