Saskatoon

Saskatoon library renamed after Indigenous educator, author, language expert

The Saskatoon Public Library is renaming one of its branches to honour a woman who worked to preserve Cree and other Indigenous languages. Freda Ahenakew wrote many books, including children's titles.

Name change part of library's commitment to respond to findings of Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Freda Ahenakew (R) at the University of Saskatchewan's 100 alumni of influence luncheon in 2007. (University of Saskatchewan)

The Saskatoon Public Library is renaming one of its branches to honour a woman who worked to preserve Cree and other Indigenous languages.

Freda Ahenakew wrote many books, including children's titles.

She was a great believer in the power of education and of leading by example.- Dolores Sand, speaking about her mother, Freda Ahenakew

Some of her books were written in Cree and then translated into English.

The Library on 20th Street Branch, as it's currently called, will be renamed the Dr. Freda Ahenakew Branch. It's located adjacent to Station 20 West.

Ahenakew taught at the University of Saskatchewan and served as director of the Department of Native Studies at the University of Manitoba.

The Saskatoon Public Library says it decided to rename the library as part of its commitment to respond to the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Ahenakew died in 2011.

Dolores Sand, Ahenakew's daughter, says the family is honoured by the library name dedication.

"She was a great believer in the power of education and of leading by example," Sand said Wednesday in a press release.

"We hope that many people will be inspired by this dedication in her honour as an Indigenous woman, scholar and leader in Cree language and culture preservation."

The official renaming ceremony is to be held on Feb. 10.

now