Around 300 students, staff, and parents gathered for a feast at Yellowknife’s Weledeh School on Wednesday evening.
Principal Jenny Reid told attendees this was the eighth annual feast. It may also be the last under the school’s present name.
Reid believes Weledeh should change its name to a more traditional, Indigenous spelling of the word, which is derived from the Wılıı̀deh Yati language.
On Wednesday, people attending the feast could vote informally on one of several spelling options.
The first two syllables – regardless of precise spelling – refer to the coney fish, or inconnu, while the third syllable means ‘river’. The word as a whole denotes what is, in English, called the Yellowknife River.
“In the discussions we have had with Elders, renaming this school would be welcome and timely,” Reid told Cabin Radio earlier this year.
“It’s going to take a little bit of money to change some of our signage and stuff like that, but we think this indication of the respect we show for the language will outweigh any monetary cost.”
A public meeting about the name change will take place at the school from 6pm on Wednesday, April 24.
The annual feast includes jiggers, fiddlers, and drummers in a celebration of the school and its students.
Take a look at some of Cabin Radio’s photos from the evening.