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Top place names in Canada of Aboriginal origin: All

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Oct 21 2010
1 Toronto: from an Iroquoian language, but of uncertain derivation. Another story says it is derived from the Mohawk word "tkaronto" meaning "trees standing in the water". 19366
2 Quebec: from the Míkmaq word kepék, meaning "strait" or "narrows". 18130
3 Ontario: Derived from the Huron word onitariio meaning "beautiful lake", or kanadario meaning "sparkling" or "beautiful" water. 17083
4 Ottawa: "To buy" from the word adaawe in the Anishinaabe language; adapted as the name of the Odawa people. 8555
5 Saskatchewan: Derived from the Cree name for the Saskatchewan River, kisiskāciwani-sīpiy, meaning "swift flowing river". 6164
6 Manitoba: Either derived from the Cree word manito-wap-w meaning "the straight of the spirit or manitobau" or the Assiniboine words mini and tobow meaning "Lake of the Prairie", referring to Lake Manitoba. 5599
7 Nunavut: "Our land" in Inuktitut. 5134
8 Yukon: from an Athabaskan language, e.g. Koyukon yookkene or Lower Tanana yookuna. 3435
9 Mississauga: Named after the native tribe of the Mississauga 1981
10 Oshawa: from the Ojibwe term aazhaway, meaning "crossing to the other side of a river or lake" or just "(a)cross". [link]</ref> 745
11 Algonquin Provincial Park: Named after the Algonquin (Anishinaabeg) people of Ontario. 620
12 Okanagan: 519
13 Manitoulin Island: Manitoulin is the English version of the word Mnidoo which means "spirit" in the Nishnaabe (Ojibway) language. Mnidoo Mnis is the original name. Mnis meaning "island". 411
14 Saguenay 402
15 Chilliwack: "Going back up" in Halqemeylem. Other translations are "quieter water on the head" or "travel by way of a backwater of slough", all a reference to the broad marshlands and sloughs of the Chilliwack area, which lies between the Fraser River's many side-channels and Sumas Prairie (much of formerly Sumas Lake). Older spellings are Chilliwhack, Chilliwayhook, Chil-whey-uk, Chilwayook, and Silawack. 367
16 Squamish and Squamish River: The river and the town are named after the Skwxwu7mesh people who live in the area 342
17 Antigonish: Derived from the Mi'kmaq word nalegitkoonechk, meaning "where branches are torn off". 333
18 Penticton: "Place to stay forever" in Okanagan 325
19 Athabasca River, Lake Athabasca, Athabasca Falls, Mount Athabasca, Athabasca: "Where there are reeds" in Cree 314
20 Kanata 302
21 Nahanni National Park Reserve and South Nahanni River, from Nahani meaning "People over there far away" in the Dene language 287
22 Yoho National Park - "Yoho" means "how amazing" or "it is beautiful"<!--in which language?--> 269
23 Nunatsiavut: from Inuktitut, meaning "our beautiful land" [link] 233
24 Osoyoos: From suius in the Okanagan language, meaning "Narrowing of the waters"; the O- prefix was added by English speakers to harmonize with Okanagan and other O-placenames in the area such as Omak, Oroville and Oliver. 202
25 Tadoussac 200
26 Kapuskasing 197
27 Kootenay: derived from the proper name of the Kootenay people, Ktunaxa 191
28 Okotoks: "Big Rock" in Blackfoot language 188
29 Stikine River and associated placenames. From Shta-KEEN, "great river" in the Tlingit language 178
30 Temagami: from the Anishinaabe word dimiigami, "deep water(s)". 176
31 Quttinirpaaq National Park - Qutsiniqpaaq/Quttiniqpaaq means "top of the world" in Inuktitut and Quttiniqpaaq in Inuinnaqtun. 175
32 Magog: Derived from "Memphremagog", see Lake Memphremagog below. 175
33 Klondike and Klondike River: Derived from the Han language word for hammer stones used to fix salmon nets (Tr'ondëk). 166
34 Skeena River 154
35 Penetanguishene, Ontario 148
36 Pangnirtung is derived from Pangniqtuuq: "the place of many bull caribou" 147
37 Lillooet: adapted from the proper name for the Lower St'at'imc people, the Lil'wat of Mt. Currie. Lil'wat means "wild onions". The old name of Lillooet was Cayoosh Flat (1858–1860), derived from the name of one of the streams converging into the Fraser at the town (cayoosh is the local variant of Chinook Jargon for "horse" or "Indian pony"). 142
38 Pictou: Derived from the Mi'kmaq word "Piktook", meaning "an explosion of gas". 142
39 Bella Coola: Named for the usual term for the local indigenous people, who call themselves Nuxalk. Bella Coola is an adaption of , the Heiltsuk name for the Nuxalk; their meaning is not limited to the band at Bella Coola but to all Nuxalk. 141
40 Petawawa From Algonquin meaning "where one hears the noise of the water" 139
41 Cariboo: from Micmac xalibu via French cariboeuf or carfboeuf: "pawer" or "scratcher". A mountain subspecies of caribou were once numerous in the Cariboo. 138
42 Esquimalt: North Straits Salish for "the place of gradually shoaling water". Derived from their word Es-whoy-malth. 138
43 Saanich: from WSANEC, the name of one of the local Straits Salish peoples and their language. 137
44 Wawa 137
45 Gananoque: "water running over rocks." 135
46 Kuujjuaq Kuujjuaq means "the great river" in Inuktitut 132
47 Tatamagouche: Derived from the Mi'kmaq word takumegooch, meaning "meeting of the waters". 131
48 Auyuittuq National Park - Auyuittuq means "the land that never melts". 130
49 Chibougamau or Chibouagmou: 129
50 Comox: either from the Chinook Jargon for "dog" (kamuks), or from the Kwak'wala for "place of plenty". 129
51 Baddeck 126
52 Maniwaki 121
53 Kanesatake 119
54 Clayoquot Sound: an adaption of the Nuu-chah-nulth language Tla-o-qui-aht, which has a variety of translations: "other or different people", "other or strange house", "people who are different from what they used to be"; in Nitinaht the phrase translates as "people of the place where it becomes the same even when disturbed". 115
55 Lake Minnewanka: ""Water of the Spirits" in Sioux language (Nakoda/Stoney language) 111
56 Kejimkujik National Park: "Kejimkujik" has been translated as meaning "attempting to escape" or "swollen waters", but the park's official translation means "tired muscles". this is not so. Land of the fairies or little people is the actual meaning. 106
57 Wapusk National Park: from w-pask, "polar bear" in Cree language 104
58 Slave River, thought to come from the Athabaskan Deh Gah Got'ine, the name for the Slavey group of the Dene First Nations 103
59 Qualicum Beach, Qualicum River: "Where the dog salmon run" in Comox 102
60 Réservoir Caniapiscau, and (River, Hunting camp, Regional county municipality) 101
61 Sechelt: the town is named after the Shishalh people who live in the area 94
62 Mississippi River (between Ottawa and Mattawa) 94
63 Stewiacke: Derived from the Mi'kmaq language, meaning "flowing out in small streams" and "whimpering or whining as it goes". 93
64 Ponoka: "Black Elk" in Cree language 93
65 Sooke: named after the T'Souke people who live in the area 92
66 Mattawa 92
67 Pugwash: Derived from the Mi'kmaq word "pagwe’ak", meaning "deep water". 89
68 Oka 85
69 Wabush — from Innu-aimun uapush, "arctic hare" [link] 83
70 Nechako River: An anglicization of , its name in the indigenous Carrier language which means "big river". 81
71 Edziza, Mount and Edziza, Mount volcanic complex: named after the Edzertza family of the Tahltan people, who live nearby. 81
72 Pukaskwa National Park 76
73 Ucluelet: "people of the safe harbour" in the language of the Nuu-chah-nulth. 75
74 Torngat Mountains: from the Inuktitut name for the region, turngait, meaning "spirits"; Inuit legends hold that here the spirit and physical worlds overlap. [link] 74
75 Sicamous - "river circling mountains" in the Shuswap language. 74
76 Inukjuak Inugjuaq or Inujjuaq means "The Giant/Big Man" in Inuktitut 72
77 Manitouwadge 70
78 Abitibi 70
79 Skookumchuck: "strong (skookum) ocean/water (chuck); that is: "strong tide, strong ocean current, rapids" in Chinook Jargon (three different locations - Sechelt Inlet, Lillooet River, Columbia River/East Kootenay, though also has a general meaning of a tidal rapids, usually at the mouth of an inlet). 67
80 Sirmilik National Park - Sirmilik means "the place of glaciers" in Inuktitut and Hirmilik in Inuinnaqtun. 65
81 Chemainus: Named after the native shaman and prophet Tsa-meeun-is, which means "Broken Chest" or "bitten breast"(Hunquminum language), a reference to the bitemarks possible during a shamanic frenzy, which the local horseshoe-shaped bay is thought to have resembled. 64
82 Tagish Lake and Tagish, Yukon: from the name of the language and people (Tagish Kwan) 63
83 Mascouche 62
84 Makkovik: Vik is the Inuktitut word for "place". Makko- may have one of the following origins: 62
85 Ivvavik National Park: Ivavik means "birthplace" or "nursery" in Inuvialuktun 62
86 Bella Bella: This is an adaption of the Heiltsuk name for themselves, . 61
87 Nipigon 61
88 Ohsweken 59
89 Keremeos 58
90 Masset - a Haida adaptation of a Spanish captain's name, possibly Masseta or Massetta 56
91 Skaha Lake: from the Okanagan language word for "dog" (sqexe). Skaha Lake in frontier times was often called Dog Lake, although that is the Shuswap language meaning of skaha; in the Okanagan language it means "horse" or "pony". 56
92 Ukkusiksalik National Park - Ukkusiksalik means "place of have cooking pots" in Inuktitut and Utkuhikhalik in Inuinnaqtun/Natsilik/Kivalliq. 55
93 Donnacona: Named after Chief Donnacona, 16th Century Iroquoian Chief of Stadacona. 54
94 Kouchibouguac National Park (and River): Kouchibouguac means "river of the long tides" in Mi'kmaq. 54
95 Vuntut National Park 53
96 Metchosin: English translation of Smets-Schosen, meaning "place of stinking fish" 51
97 Ahousat: "facing opposite the ocean" in Nuu-chah-nulth (Nootka). 51
98 Atlin: "big lake" in Inland Tlingit 50
99 Cassiar: a remote adaptation of Kaska, definition debatable, but possibly "old moccasins". 49
100 Kwadacha Wilderness Provincial Park 49
101 Aulavik National Park, Aulavik means "place where people travel" in Inuvialuktun 48
102 Nackawic 48
103 Kluane Lake and Kluane National Park and Reserve: from Łù'àn meaning big fish in Southern Tutchone 47
104 Cheakamus River: from the Squamish language "Chiyakmesh", for "salmon weir place". 47
105 Tracadie 47
106 Taku River, Taku Plateau and the Taku Arm of Tagish Lake from the name of the Taku people 46
107 Anyox: "place of hiding" in Nisga'a 46
108 Teslin Lake, Teslin River and Teslin, Yukon: from the Tlingit Deisleen, long narrow water 45
109 Kalamalka Lake 45
110 Grand Rapids: Translation of Cree word misepawistik, meaning "rushing rapids". 45
111 Tuktut Nogait National Park, Tuktut Nurrait means "young caribous" in Inuvialuktun 44
112 Nakusp - from the Sinixt or Okanagan language word "Neqo'sp" meaning "closed-in" or "safe" 43
113 Natuashish: from Innu-aimun, meaning "a small lake". [link] 42
114 Skidegate 42
115 Mushaboom 42
116 Salluit Salluit means "the thin ones" in Inuktitut 41
117 Tahsis 41
118 Similkameen: From "Similkameugh" or "Samilkameigh" or "Samilkumeigh", one of the twelve tribes of the Okanagan people. The "-meen" ending was "forced by the whites" on this name to harmonize with the name of the river's tributary, the Tulameen. 40
119 Nitinat Lake: from the usual English spelling of the name of the Ditidaht people 39
120 Nipissing: from the Anishinaabe language term nibiishing, "at (some) water". 39
121 Waputik Range: Waputik means "white goat" in Sioux language 39
122 Causapscal 38
123 Pingo National Landmark, from Pingo an Inuvialuktun word for "small hill" 38
124 Coaticook: Derived from the Abenaki language, meaning "river near the pines". 37
125 Shubenacadie:Derived from the Mi'kmaq word Shubenacadie (or Segubunakade) means "abounding in ground nuts" or "place where the red potato grows. 37
126 Skihist Mountain and Skihist Provincial Park 36
127 Chebucto (the original name of Halifax and the Halifax Harbour): Derived from the Mi'kmaq word "Jipugtug", meaning "the biggest harbour". 35
128 Kennebecasis River 34
129 Shalalth: From Ts'alalh, "the lake" in the St'at'imcets language of the Lillooet people 33
130 Chehalis and Chehalis River: probable meanings vary from "the place one reaches after ascending the rapids" or "where the 'chest' of a canoe grounds on a sandbar'. The sandbar or rapids in question would be the old "riffles" of the Harrison River where it empties into the Fraser River out of Harrison Bay (the riffles were dredged out in gold rush times). The Chehalis people refer to themselves, however, as Sts'ailes, "beating heart". 33
131 Cobequid: Derived from the Mi'kmaq word "Wakobetgitk", meaning "end of the rushing or flowing water". 32
132 Kangiqsualujjuaq Kangiqsualujjuaq means "the very large bay" in Inuktitut 32
133 Coquihalla River: "stingy container" (of fish), a reference to black-coloured water spirits who would steal fish right off the spear 31
134 Amisk: "Beaver" in Cree. 31
135 Clo-oose: "campsite beach" in the Nitinaht dialect of Nuu-chah-nulth 30
136 Whycocomagh:Derived from a Mi'kmaq word which means "Head of the Waters". 30
137 Cowichan: from Quwutsun, "land warmed by the sun" or "warm country" (Hunquminum) 29
138 Spuzzum, from the local variant of the Chinook Jargon spatsum, a reed used in basketry 29
139 Chilcotin River: "red ochre river people" in the Chilcotin language 29
140 Miramichi : the name, which may be the oldest recorded name of aboriginal origin in Canada, may come from the Montagnais word for "country of the Micmac." 28
141 Timiskaming: from the Algonquin language Temikami or Temikaming, meaning "deep waters". 27
142 Ts'il?os Provincial Park, also Ts'il?os, Ts'ylos, Ts'yl-os, Tsoloss, the Chilcotin language name for Mount Tatlow 25
143 Ecum Secum: Derived from the Mi'kmaq language, meaning "a red house". 25
144 Quatsino Sound, Quatsino Provincial Park, Quatsino, British Columbia, from Gwat'sinux, the name of the local group of Kwakwaka'wakw people. 25
145 Cultus: "bad, of no value, worthless" in Chinook jargon. In First Nations legend, this popular recreational lake south of Chilliwack was said to be inhabited by evil spirits. 25
146 Eddontenajon: "child crying in the water" or "a little boy drowned" in Tahltan 24
147 Naats'ihch'oh National Park Reserve, Naats'ihch'oh means "stands like a porcupine" in the Dene Suline language 24
148 Gingolx, also sp. Kincolith, "Place of skulls" in the Nisga'a language 24
149 Sayabec 23
150 Nicomekl River - Halq'emeylem for "the route to go" or "the pathway". 23
151 Omineca River, Omineca Mountains, Omineca Country 22
152 Manicouagan: "where there is bark" 21

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