The name change shows a respect for the Cree way of life. The old name “Hobbema” isn’t a Cree word. The area actually didn’t become known as Hobbema until 1891 when the president of the Canadian Pacific Railway named a flag station after a Dutch landscape painter.
Reclaiming the traditional name, Maskwacis, which means “Bear Hill, Land of the Cree” was a welcome change. The name instills a sense of pride in Cree values, languages, culture, and history. It represents homegrown culture and will better reflect the heritage of the people who live there.
With a good number of current and past students from the communities of Samson Cree, Montana, Louis Bull, and Ermineskin First Nations, Mactech Distance Education recognizes the importance of acknowledging and assisting the communities in growing a positive reputation and spreading awareness of their reclaimed name. Hay Hay!