Manitoba

Manitoba First Nations to get new road signs, improving visibility and updating names

First Nations on Manitoba's highway network will get new road signs, which provincial and federal officials say will improve visibility from the road and correct old signs that use colonial names for the communities.

Province, feds to spend $400K for new road signs for Manitoba First Nations

An example of what signs for Manitoba First Nations may look like when they're completed in three years time. (Daniel Gagné/Radio-Canada)

First Nations on Manitoba's highway network will get new road signs, which provincial and federal officials say will improve visibility from the road and correct old signs that use colonial names for the communities.

"Up to now, the road signage outside many Manitoba First Nations did not reflect the historical or commonly used names of the community," said Manitoba MP Dan Vandal (Saint Boniface-Saint Vital).

"Today's announcement is about more than just changing signs to add the correct names. It's about breaking with injustices of the past. "

Vandal made the announcement at the Manitoba Legislature on Friday, along with provincial Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler and Indigenous Minister Eileen Clarke.

Manitoba MP Dan Vandal (Saint Boniface-Saint Vital) stands next to a template sign for Waywayseecappo First Nation. The new signs will be designed in consultation with communities over the next year, he said. (Daniel Gagné/Radio-Canada)

Clarke said the project was a follow-up on multiple requests from First Nations in the province.

She recalled a visit to Waywayseecappo First Nation, about 280 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg, when residents told her there was a nearby highway sign pointing to a community that had been empty for years — but nothing for Waywayseecappo.

"Now, that seemed like a fairly simple request," Clarke said.

The provincial and federal governments will each contribute $200,000 to the project, for a total cost of $400,000.

The signs will be designed in consultation with the communities over the next year and the project will be completed in the next three years, Vandal said.

"With this announcement, we will be sure that when the members of a First Nation travel into their community, they see a name that reflects their community and their place in it," he said.

"And when Manitobans come to visit those communities, they will be arriving with the correct understanding of where they are, truly."

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