Place Name: Carlson Close

Feature Type (Year Approved): Road (1990)

Name Origins: Commemorative


German, Scandinavian: relationship name from the personal name Carl + sohn ‘son’, possibly to be associated first with immigration of German miners into Cumb in the 16th century

From: Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland

Cultural Affiliation: German, Scandinavian and Cree

I think that this is a more complex place name. While the name “Carlson” may be affiliated with German / Scandinavian heritage, in this instance it is commemorating a Cree woman, Nellie Mildred Makokis, who took her husband’s name. I am not sure how to manage this. Solely documenting the Scandinavian/German name origins erases the heritage and Cree culture represented by Nellie Mildred Carlson. As such, I have documented both. If you have any thoughts, please let me know.

Gender: Female

Naming Edmonton: From Ada to Zoie 

Nellie Mildred Carlson (b. 1927) was the first president of the Alberta group Indian Rights for Indian Women. She was born on the Saddle Lake Indian Reserve. After moving to Edmonton, Carlson lobbied the federal government to revise the Indian Act so that Aboriginal women who married non-Aboriginal or Métis men could retain their first Nation status. With the successful passage of Bill C-31, enacted in 1985, Aboriginal women regained band membership. Carlson was the recipient of the 1988 Persons Award.

More information about Nellie Mildred Carlson can be found in My Heroes Have Always Been Indians: A Century of Great Indigenous Albertans by Dr. Cora J. Voyageur.

Nellie Mildred Makokis was born July 3, 1927, on the Saddle Lake Cree Nation near St. Paul. She was one of only two surviving children of Frank and Marjorie (Jackson) Makokis. She attended Blue Quills Indian Residential School and completed Grade 8 education, which was standard for that time. 

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