Alexis Millar is the former Digital Marketing Specialist at the Edmonton Public Library.
Edmonton is a vibrant festival city, divided by the mighty North Saskatchewan River and united in a deep love (sometimes anguish) of local sports teams. The city is home to a diverse population and tons of unique communities. How well do you know yours as well as the new ward names?
We’ve broken down the city—ward by ward—to help you get to know your neighbourhood better. For starters, you can learn about the characteristics of your ward and get to know the candidates running for election on Monday, Oct. 18.
Then, go beyond that to discover what your neighbours are really interested in. The most popular items borrowed from branches of the Edmonton Public Library that serve each ward hint at residents’ passions.
Not sure which ward you live in? Check out the City of Edmonton’s detailed ward maps, opens a new window to find your ward. All information concerning Edmonton's wards, pronunciation and name explanations are from the City of Edmonton website.
Use the links below to jump ahead to any ward.
Pronunciation: NA-KOH-TAH EE-SKA
EPL Branches That Serve Nakota Isga: West Henday Promenade, opens a new window (WHP)
Indigenous language of origin: Sioux
Name Meaning: The People
Name Explanation: In 1880, the Alexis Nakota Sioux (Nakota Isga or Stoney in English) people took reserve (No. 133) at the shore of Lake Wakamne after signing an adhesion to Treaty Six. They established themselves along the Saskatchewan and Athabasca rivers, setting up fur trading posts along the way.
The Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation is the furthest northwestern representative of the Siouan language family. While this group mingled with neighbouring Cree nations for centuries, it managed to maintain a unique cultural identity as a Nakota nation.
In 1995, Alexis Treaty Land Entitlement led to the establishment of Alexis' Whitecourt (No. 232), Elk River (No. 233) and Cardinal River (No. 234) reserves. To this day, many Alexis people use the name Isga to refer to themselves.
Details: Formerly Ward 1, Nakota Isga runs from 231 Street in the west to Groat Road in the east, and from Whitemud Drive in the south to the city boundary in the north.
Learn more about the neigbourhoods and candidates in Nakota Isga.
Nakota Isga Faves
Most Popular Movies: Mulan (WHP)
Most Popular Books: Geronimo Stilton (WHP)
Most Popular EPL Class: Sing, Sign, Laugh and Learn (WHP)
Most Popular Music: Now That’s What I Call Music! (WHP)
Pronunciation: A nirk nik
Indigenous language of origin: Inuktun
Name Meaning: Breath of Life
Name Explanation: The Inuit—Inuktitut (ᐃᓄᒃᑎᑐᑦ) for "the people"—are the northernmost Indigenous people in Canada. Their traditional homeland is known as Inuit Nunangat.
In the 1950s and 60s, about one-third of Inuit people were infected with tuberculosis. Most were flown south for treatment in sanitariums like the Charles Camsell Indian Hospital in Edmonton, where they stayed for an average of two and a half years.
Those who survived returned home, but many Inuit passed away, often without their families being notified, and were buried in cemeteries in Edmonton, far from their homeland.
This ward was given the name Anirniq (ᐊᓂᕐᓂᖅ) which means ‘Breath of Life,’ or spirit. The name was recommended by Inuit Elders because tuberculosis took the breath and spirit of many Indigenous people.
Details: Anirniq, formerly Ward 2, contains most of the city’s northwest, roughly between 170 Street and 97 Street.
Learn more about the neigbourhoods and candidates in Anirniq.
Most Popular EPL Class: Sing, Sign, Laugh and Learn (CAL, WOO)
Most Popular Music: Now That’s What I Call Music! (CAL, WOO)
Indigenous language of origin: Cree
Name Meaning: The In-between People
Name Explanation: The name tastawiyiniwak, is the nêhiyawak (Cree) term referring to the LGBTQ2S+ community. Its rough English translation is “in-between people.” The Cree heritage does not have a binary view of gender, or of traditional gender roles. In fact, the Cree worldview recognized eight genders, and each had their own role to play in the betterment of their community.
The Cree believe all people are unified by a single ahcahk (spirit). Each individual could choose where they belonged, what responsibilities they bore to their community, and were free to move between roles as they wished. This is the origin of the term tastawiyiniwak, or "in-between people."
The tastawiyiniwak ward name calls for a more equal future for the LGBTQ2S+ community.
Details: The new ward includes most of what was Ward 3 and some of Ward 7. tastawiyniwak is bounded by Anthony Henday Drive in the north, 66 Street in the east, 127 Street in the south, and 97 Street in the west until 153 Avenue. The western boundary then extends along 153 Avenue until Castle Downs Road.
Learn more about the neigbourhoods and candidates in tastawiyiniwak.
Most Popular Books: Geronimo Stilton (CSD, LON)
Most Popular EPL Class: Sing, Sign, Laugh and Learn (CSD, LON)
Most Popular Music: Now That’s What I Call Music! (CSD, LON)
Indigenous language of origin: Dene
Name Meaning: People of land and water
Name Explanation: The word Dene refers to the various tribes and people, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, that settled along the North Saskatchewan River and who live there now. Many Dene tribes settled along the shores of the river, including the area where Edmonton now sits.
Dene people in Alberta include the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, the Cold Lake First Nations, and Dene Tha First Nation. Dene people are spread across Canada with the largest concentration of Dene language speakers living in Saskatchewan. Dene languages became one of the official languages of the Northwest Territories in 1990.
Details: Ward Dene is the only district whose boundaries remain unchanged after the city’s renaming and redrawing process.
Previously Ward 4, Dene makes up the northeast corner of Alberta’s capital city, from Belvedere in its most southwestern corner, to the Clover Bar and Horse Hill areas in the east and north.
Learn more about the neigbourhoods and candidates in Dene.
Most Popular Books: Geronimo Stilton (CLV, MCN)
Most Popular EPL Class: Sing, Sign, Laugh and Learn (CLV, MCN)
Most Popular Music: Now That’s What I Call Music! (CLV, MCN)
EPL Branches That Serve O-day’min: Stanley A. Milner Library (MNA)
Indigenous language of origin: Anishinaabe
Name Meaning: Strawberry or Heart-berry
Name Explanation: O-day’min, the strawberry, or heart berry, represents the heart of Edmonton, amiskwaciwâskahikan. The stem of the heart represents the North Saskatchewan River, the vessels are the waterways, while the veins make up the blood (people). The roots (veins) of the strawberry represent the different cultures that now make up the city.
The O-day’min is a traditional medicine that guided the Anishinaabe (people with the shared culture and language of the Algonquian tribes) understanding of the deep connection between mind, body, spirit and emotions.
Anishinaabe peoples are found across Canada, and in Alberta have been referred to as the Saulteaux. The O’Chiese First Nation near Rocky Mountain House is home to Anishinaabe peoples.
Details: Ward O-day’min is Edmonton’s north-central district, encompassing communities along the north edge of the North Saskatchewan River, downtown and McCauley, and the developing Blatchford neighbourhood.
The new ward consists of more northern territory than it used to and less western; it now ends with Westmount at its western-most boundary line.
Learn more about the neigbourhoods and candidates in O-day’min.
Most Popular Movies: Mulan (MNA)
Most Popular Books: Geronimo Stilton (MNA)
Most Popular EPL Class: Sing, Sign, Laugh and Learn (MNA)
Most Popular Music: Now That’s What I Call Music! (MNA)
Indigenous language of origin: Michif
Name Meaning: Given the history of the area and the use of the Riverlot system in this ward, a Métis name was chosen
Name Explanation: The Métis people originated in the early 1700s when French and Scottish fur traders married Indigenous women, such as the Cree, and Anishinaabe (Ojibway). After a few generations, the descendants of these marriages formed a distinct culture, collective consciousness and nationhood in the northwest.
As the fur trade slowed, Métis people developed farms on river lots close to Fort Edmonton. The shape and position of these lots is a reflection of the city’s design. Because of their integral part in the formation of the city, this ward has been given the name Métis to honour a cornerstone in Edmonton’s history.
Details: The east Edmonton ward spans both sides of the North Saskatchewan River, from the Montrose and Newton areas in the north to the communities around Bonnie Doon to the southwest and south of the Sherwood Park Freeway in the southeast.It was crafted out of parts of former Wards 7, 8 and 11.
Learn more about the neigbourhoods and candidates in Métis.
Most Popular EPL Class: Teen Lounge Jr. (ABB), Sing, Sign, Laugh and Learn (CPL, HIG, IDY, SPW)
Indigenous language of origin: Enoch Cree
Name Meaning: References the people of the Enoch Cree Nation being River Cree
Name Explanation: Because of their proximity to the North Saskatchewan River, Enoch Cree Nation members were known as the River Cree to other tribes, or in the Cree language, sipiwiyiniwak.
In the 1800s, the Enoch Cree Nation was an area of 44 square miles that stretched from north of Big Island to present day Stony Plain Road. In 1884, Chief Enoch Lapotac signed an Adhesion to Treaty 6, but involuntary land surrenders caused the loss of over half of Enoch land. The Enoch First Nation, and its more than 2,500 members, is situated on Treaty 6 Territory in central Alberta, bordering the west side of the city of Edmonton. They continue to fight for their land rights today.
Details: The newly-named ward closely resembles its Ward 5 predecessor but adds a rectangular patch of area near West Edmonton Mall and Meadowlark, stretching its northern boundary as far as 95 Avenue.
Learn more about the neigbourhoods and candidates in sipiwiyiniwak.
Most Popular Books: Geronimo Stilton (JPL, LHL)
Most Popular EPL Class: Sing, Sign, Laugh and Learn (JPL, LHL)
Most Popular Music: Now That’s What I Call Music! (JPL, LHL)
Indigenous language of origin: papaschase
Name Meaning: papastew translates to large woodpecker.
Name Explanation: papastew, also known as Papaschase, was the respected leader of the Papaschase Band, which resided in the Edmonton area in the late 1800s. The Chief’s name translates to large woodpecker in English.
When land was surveyed for the Papaschase Band in 1880 south of the North Saskatchewan River, they were given a 40-square-mile plot, too small to meet the needs of their 249 members. The local Indian Agent then arbitrarily transferred people off the band list. Additionally, local settlers didn't want the community too close and petitioned the federal government to eventually force the band into complete surrender.
Facing starvation, the breakup of their community, and pressure from local settlers, a small number of the remaining members eventually surrendered their land. Surviving members of the Papaschase Band are working to reclaim their community and land in the area.
Details: Formerly Ward 8, papastew is one of two ridings that broke up the previous boundaries last September when councillors approved changes better reflecting population. The ward is bound by the North Saskatchewan River in the north, 34 Avenue in the south, the Whitemud Ravine in the west, and the neighbourhoods of Bonnie Doon and Avonmore in the east.
Learn more about the neigbourhoods and candidates in papastew.
Most Popular EPL Class: Sing, Sign, Laugh and Learn (STR, WMC)
EPL Branches That Serve pihêsiwin ᐱᐦᐁᓯᐏᐣ: Riverbend, opens a new window (RIV)
Indigenous language of origin: Cree
Name Meaning: Pays respect to the Thunderbird. This ward, from an aerial view, is shaped like a pihêsiw (thunderbird) and contains a ceremonial site.
Name Explanation: The name pihêsiwin means Land of the Thunderbirds and was given to this ward because from an aerial view it is shaped like a pihêsiw (thunderbird).
The thunderbird appears in artwork throughout Indigenous history and has different significance between cultures.
In nêhiyawewin (Cree ontology), pihêsiw is a word of power and reverence. The thunderbird is a powerful spirit in the form of a bird. Lightning was believed to flash from its beak, and the beating of its wings was thought to represent the rolling of thunder. When the thunderbird strikes lightning (kakitoht), it re-energizes mother Earth.
The pihêsiw is the keeper of water. As water is crucial for life, the nourishment of our bodies, and the bringer of beauty, the thunderbird is viewed with extreme reverence.
Details: Ward pihêsiwin is located in southwest Edmonton along the North Saskatchewan River.
Learn more about the neigbourhoods and candidates in pihêsiw.
pihêsiwin ᐱᐦᐁᓯᐏᐣ Faves
Most Popular Movies: Mulan (RIV)
Most Popular Books: Geronimo Stilton (RIV)
Most Popular EPL Class: Sing, Sign, Laugh and Learn (RIV)
Most Popular Music: Now That’s What I Call Music! (RIV)
Pronunciation: E-pee-ko-ka-nee piu-tsi-ya
EPL Branches That Serve Ipiihkoohkanipiaohtsi: Heritage Valley (HVY)
Indigenous language of origin: Blackfoot
Name Meaning: Traditional lands where the Blackfoot Nation performed Buffalo Rounds. It is known that bison would migrate up to 300 kilometres north of the North Saskatchewan River to the safety of artesian wells to gather for the winter.
Name Explanation: Bison were as vital to the Blackfoot people, as to all Indigenous peoples of the plains. The Blackfoot had established words and meanings for their migration patterns, which often coincided with the change of the seasons. In honour of the bison roaming north yearly, this ward was given the name Ipiihkoohkanipiaohtsi, which means the migration of the bison north for calving season in Blackfoot.
The Blackfoot (Nitsitapi) are often associated with Southern Alberta, but their traditional migration patterns often followed the bison up to the North Saskatchewan River. The Blackfoot nations are composed of four separate bands; the Siksika (Blackfoot), the Blood (Kainai), and the north Peigan (Aapátohsipiikani) and the south Peigan (Amskapi Piikani), which make up the Blackfoot Confederacy.
Details: Ipiihkoohkanipiaohtsi lies in south-central Edmonton, where parts of Wards 9 and 10 currently sit.
It stretches from 34 Avenue in the north to the city boundary at Highway 19 in the south. It also mostly follows the Whitemud Creek Ravine on the west and Calgary Trail on the east.
Learn more about the neigbourhoods and candidates in Ipiihkoohkanipiaohtsi.
Most Popular Movies: PAW Patrol (HVY)
Most Popular Books: Geronimo Stilton (HVY)
Most Popular EPL Class: Sing, Sign, Laugh and Learn (HVY)
Most Popular Music: Now That’s What I Call Music! (HVY)
EPL Branches That Serve Karhiio: Mill Woods, opens a new window (MLW)
Indigenous language of origins: Mohawk (Michel First Nation)
Name Meaning: A tall, beautiful forest in the Mohawk language. Michel Karhiio was the Chief of the Michel Band that was enfranchised in 1958.
Name Explanation: As the fur trade continued its expansion westward, Iroquois men became frequent traders in the NorthWest and Hudson’s Bay Companies. These traders married Cree and Métis women along these settlements, and a distinct Band known as Michel First Nation was formed. Karhiio is a word of significant importance to the Michel First Nation; its literal translation is “tall beautiful forest.”
The Michel First Nation first settled in the Lac Ste Anne area where a treaty was signed in 1855. The band was involuntarily enfranchised in 1958 and nearly all members of the Michel First Nation lost their Indian Status. In 1985, amendments were made to the Indian Act, restoring the status of 750 Michel Band members, but its members continue to fight for status land recognition.
Details: The new ward evenly splits sections previously encompassed by Ward 11 and 12. Karhiio runs north to south and is bound in the north by a section of 51 Avenue until 91 Street and the railway tracks separating Davies Industrial East and Roper Industrial neighbourhoods. In the east, the ward is bound by 50 Street and Township Road 510 in the south. Queen Elizabeth II Highway forms the western boundary.
Learn more about the neigbourhoods and candidates in Karhiio.
Most Popular Movies: PAW Patrol (MLW)
Most Popular Books: Geronimo Stilton (MLW)
Most Popular EPL Class: Sing, Sign, Laugh and Learn (MLW)
Most Popular Music: Now That’s What I Call Music! (MLW)
EPL Branches That Serve Sspomitapi: Meadows, opens a new window (MEA)
Indigenous language of origin: Blackfoot
Name Meaning: Sspomitapi means star person and was given in honour of the Iron Creek Meteorite or the Manitou Stone
Name Explanation: Like other Indigenous nations, the Blackfoot have many stories that acknowledge the sky and the stars, often referred to as Sky Beings. In relation to the name of Ssopmitapi (Star Person), they were sent to earth by Napi (Creator) to help the Blackfoot people and the bison to have a reciprocal relationship.
Sspomitapi was given in honour of the Iron Creek Meteorite or the Manitou Stone once located near Viking, Alberta. The stone was shared by all tribes and was a place the Blackfoot would travel to and perform ceremony. The stone was taken to Ontario in the 1800s by missionaries, but was returned to Alberta in the 1970s and is now in the Royal Alberta Museum.
As well as Sspomitapi, the teachings of this fallen star have given gifts to the Blackfoot people that are still relevant.
Details: The new boundaries for Ward Sspomitapi include parts of the former wards 11 and 12 in the city’s southeast.
Learn more about the neigbourhoods and candidates in Sspomitapi.
Most Popular Movies: Tenet (MEA),
Most Popular Books: Geronimo Stilton (MEA)
Most Popular EPL Class: Sing, Sign, Laugh and Learn (MEA)
Most Popular Music: Now That’s What I Call Music! (MEA)
Curious how to show your love for EPL during this election? Stop by your local branch or visit our election page for ways to advocate for the Library as EPL is the heart of our city.
Still have questions? You can find more titles in our collection, or chat with our knowledgeable staff to find more on the topic!