The Oliver Community League (OCL) is pleased to unveil and celebrate the new name for our community: Wîhkwêntôwin – ᐄᐧᐦᑫᐧᐣᑑᐃᐧᐣ (we-kwen-to-win). We are deeply grateful to Elder Jerry Saddleback for gifting us this Cree name, and to the members of the Renaming Circle and community for their important contributions. More information about the Renaming Circle, and how we arrived at Wîhkwêntôwin is available on uncoveroliver.ca. You can follow our new social media pages for Instagram and Facebook (we are still waiting for Twitter to unsuspend the account we created there).
In 2020, the Oliver Community League (OCL) Board of Directors approved a motion to rename the Oliver community. Frank Oliver’s name and harmful legacy do not reflect the diversity and spirit of inclusion our community represents, and a process was initiated to change the name. This will be the third name for our community, which began as the “West End,” and was called Oliver in 1937.
Over the past four years, the Oliver Community League Board has worked on finding a new name for our community. In 2022, we conducted extensive public engagement with residents, businesses, community leaders, and students and staff of the Oliver School.
The Renaming Circle – which included Indigenous leaders and Elders, Chinese community leaders, and descendants of the Black and Amber Valley settlers – met over the course of 2022 and 2023. They combined their own knowledge with the results of public engagement to select a new name, and in Ceremony in February of 2023, a new name was gifted to the community by Elder Jerry Saddleback.
Wîhkwêntôwin- ᐄᐧᐦᑫᐧᐣᑑᐃᐧᐣ (we-kwen-to-win) is a Cree word which translates to English as “A Circle of Friends.” The name was approved by the City of Edmonton Naming Committee on August 29th, 2023, and it will be at the City of Edmonton’s Executive Committee for final approval on February 7th.