Future questions of whether to rename a road, building or other piece of public infrastructure will now be addressed through a naming policy established by the Town of Inuvik.
At their Nov. 9 council meeting, town councillors voted 6-0, with Couns. Dez Loreen and Kurt Wainman absent, in favour of a motion to adopt the naming town facilities and parks policy after some minor amendments.
“We did a lot of work on shoring it up,” said Mayor Natasha Kulikowski. “The reason to create this policy was so we have a process that’s the same for everyone.”
Under the new policy, a Naming Committee will be established that will identify prominent Inuvik residents and historical figures when the opportunity to rename a building, park or road comes up. The committee will meet twice a year to recommend names for public facilities and the town will then host a public forum to inform people of the planned change within 30 days. The decision on what to name a public facility will remain with Town Council.
It also establishes a Names Reserve List to keep track of names put forward that may not be selected during a particular naming effort, so those names can then be brought forward at a later date. Anyone who wants to submit a name for the reserve list will be able to do so by means of a form that can be forwarded to town administration.
Three town councillors will sit on the committee, as well as anywhere from three to six members of the public. Appointments are for a two year term and are appointed by town council.
Criteria for names to be brought forward include persons who demonstrate excellence, courage or exceptional dedication to service that brings special credit to Inuvik, the Northwest Territories or Canada as a whole; outstanding volunteers who bring extraordinary help to community services and humanitarian causes; persons who reduce discrimination and foster equality, persons who put their lives on the line to protect others and persons who accomplishes an outstanding achievement that brings great honour to the Town of Inuvik, NWT or Canada as a whole.
Kulikowski said the policy comes as a response after the Canadian Forces asked council to rename a road at the Inuvik Airport. Two names were put forward by town administration, however concerns were raised by the public that neither of the names put forward had a great deal of relevance to the community. An addition set of names was later added to the list and residents voted on their preference. In the end, the road was named Anderson Way after Cpl. Jordan Anderson — who attended school in Inuvik and died serving his country in Afghanistan in 2007.
Senior Administrative Officer Grant Hood noted a naming ceremony for the road was still in the works, but had been delayed by Covid-19 complications.