Indigenous language of origins: Mohawk (Michel First Nation). Meaning: A tall, beautiful forest in the Mohawk language. Michel Karhiio was the chief of the Michel Band that was enfranchised in 1958. Where the town of Calahoo is now located.
A tall, beautiful forest in the Mohawk language
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.
If you would like to learn more about the naming of Karhiio, and watch a City of Edmonton video presentation, click here