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Some Challenges of Names Recognition: The Ontario Geographic Names Board, Canada, 2000–2007

Some Challenges of Names Recognition: The Ontario Geographic Names Board, Canada, 2000–2007

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Title: Some Challenges of Names Recognition: The Ontario Geographic Names Board, Canada, 2000–2007
Author: Kerfoot, Helen
Abstract: Canada was one of the first countries to establish a geographical names authority and has participated in the
work of standardization at the United Nations since the first conference in 1967. Over the past forty years
the approval of geographical names in Canada has been primarily the responsibility of the provinces and,
for a shorter time, the territories.
The names authority for the Province of Ontario, the Ontario Geographic Names Board (OGNB),
comprises seven members (including representatives from Ontario First Nations, and the province’s
English- and French-speaking communities). Between 2000 and 2007, the OGNB considered some 380
names submissions, recommending approximately 330 for official recognition and general dissemination.
This paper looks at some of the main challenges to the Board during this period. Among the questions
considered were issues relating to such themes as commemorative naming, urban community naming, and
handling existing names considered derogatory. Sometimes bearing on the Board’s approaches to these
issues were the need for names for emergency reference purposes (911 dialling), a sparse population in
northern areas of the province to support local usage, and conflicting submissions to replace derogatory
names. Issues, approaches, examples, and preliminary guidelines are presented.
Subject: Ontario Geographic Names
Ontario Geographic Names Board
Type: Article
Rights: The following articles are © 2009 with the individual authors. They are made available free of charge from this page as a service to the community under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivative Works license version 3.0. For full details go to http://creativecommons.org.licenses/ny-nd.3.0
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10315/3995
Published: York University
Citation: Proceedings of the 23rd International Congress of Onomastic Sciences
ISBN: 978-1-55014-521-2
Date: 2009

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