Dec. 15, 2009
FREDERICTON (CNB) - A recommendation to change the name of Savage Island to Eqpahak has been accepted by Wellness, Culture and Sport Minister Hédard Albert. The recommendation was made by the department's toponymy steering committee.
The island is located in the Saint John River, north of Fredericton, below the Mactaquac dam.
"The Maliseet word 'eqpahak' means 'place where the tide stops coming in,'" said Albert. "This place has been an important geographic feature to the Aboriginal people for more than 3,000 years. This is why we thought that it was crucial to change the name of Savage Island to Eqpahak, as it reflects Maliseet culture."
It is the first time that New Brunswick has changed an official toponym because the name was inappropriate or discriminatory.
Percy Sacobie initiated the request for a name change, and undertook research for the new name. Chiefs of the six Maliseet First Nations also participated, and provided support for the new name.
The toponymy steering committee is comprised of representatives of the province's anglophone, francophone and First Nations communities. It is a public mechanism that allows members of interested communities to participate in identifying and establishing place names throughout New Brunswick.
MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Joubert, communications, Department of Wellness, Culture and Sport, 506-457-6445.