The new building at the former J.H. Sissons School site has a new name—Įtłʼo—the Yellowknife Education District No. 1 (YK1) Board of Trustees announced, Jan. 11.
Pronounced EE-k-lo, the name is the traditional Wiliideh word for cranberry.
“The name Įtłʼo is significant because of its connection to the land,” a news release from the YK1 Board of Trustees reads.
The school’s site on 51A Avenue was once a popular berry-picking site for Wiliideh Yellowknives families, who would travel there every year to harvest the vitamin-C-packed cranberry for food as well as medicine.
During the YK1 Board meeting on Jan. 11, trustee Noreen Cleary moved that the new school be named “to honour the land that the new school is residing on and to respect the Indigenous ways of knowing.”
Trustee Tina Drew called the three-month process, which included consulting with Indigenous leaders, “a nurturing activity.”
“School names are symbols of what the community stands for and values,” board chair Terry Brookes said in a press release. “In turn, students begin to identify as a community under their school’s name.”