October 27, 2021 

The question comes up from time to time whether Slave Lake’s name is detrimental. Followed closely by the suggestion the town would be better served by a new name – one without the harsh and negative connotations that go along with the term ‘slave.’

There’s no question ‘slave’ produces some bad vibes. Once you’re there, that stuff dissipates quickly and ceases to have any importance. But say somebody has a choice of which community to come to, and nothing else to go on. Would they choose Slave Lake over, say, Peace River? Maybe not.

Some people have reacted quite negatively to suggestions about changing Slave Lake’s name. But back in 1923 (if we have it right), the ‘town fathers’ thought differently. It was ‘Sawridge’ they didn’t like, and thought Slave Lake would be better for business. The business they had in mind was attracting people (tourists) to the lake. Folks in the business of doing that in 2021 are still trying to figure out how to make it happen. So are people whose job it is to recruit medical and other professionals to communities that seem always to be short of them. It’s tough, as we know.

Just last week a hockey coach was telling us they have a line on a few available players, “if we can talk them into coming here.”

We’ve had similar challenges convincing prospective reporters to come and work for The Leader. ‘Slave Lake? Where’s that? Do you have indoor plumbing?’ And so on.
Something to think about.

This item is reprinted with permission from Lakeside Leader. See article HERE.

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