The city of Edmonton is using Plains Cree words to name two bridges on the southeast LRT extension in honour of the aboriginal community.

The bridge crossing the North Saskatchewan River from downtown to the Muttart Conservatory will be named Tawatina, meaning valley.  The bridge across Connors Road will be called Kâhasinîskâk, after a nearby creek.

City officials say the new bridges offered a chance to tie together the city’s geography and aboriginal history.

“The naming committee and the administration just saw a great opportunity to honour the aboriginal community by naming the two bridges,” city planner Cory Sousa said.

“Especially how they are tied in within the river valley and we feel that's the best way to honour the aboriginal community.”

Jeffrey Nachtigal, chairman of the city’s naming committee, says finding appropriate places to use aboriginal names has been part of the committee’s focus.

“We've been looking for opportunities to honour the aboriginal history which is an important part of who we are and what this city is about,” Nachtigall said.

The city’s aboriginal relations officer and other advisors helped the city chose the names.