Renaming la rue Amherst

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lagatta4
Renaming la rue Amherst

I think that many babblers are aware of the many demands to rename the street named for Lord Jeffrey Amherst, because of his history of using smallpox-infested blankets as a means of bacteriological warfare and genocide against Amerindian peoples who had taken the side of New France. It is no surprise that such tactics were more readily used against foes seen as "savages".

http://www.ledevoir.com/politique/montreal/507852/toponymie-amherst-aux-...

But some have expressed a desire to rename it for a Québécois figure such as Jacques Parizeau (remember, not only a politician, but an important figure in the Quiet Revolution) and while I certainly think Parizeau deserves a street somewhere, writing this historical wrong calls for a street name that is either Indigenous or commemorative of an Indigenous event, feast or concept.

If it is a name in French, it could be something like Rue de la Grande paix, or rue des Deux-Esprits (a positive Indigenous concept relating to LGBT+ people, as it is an important street in what is now the Gay Village), but personally I'd prefer an Indigenous name. In any case, to right the historical wrong, it must relate to Indigenous peoples' history, culture or world views, not Québécois ones.

And renaming must not mean forgeting. Boulevard Alexis-Carrell has become boulevard Rita Levi-Montalcini (another Nobel prize winner and an extraordinary woman who I like seeing honoured).

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Wasn't a park named after Jacques Parizeau? I remember it being somewhat of a big deal to some because the park in question was a Vimy based park.

There are a lot of streets named after questionable figures from our past. Like Lionel-Groulx.

I agree that Amherst should be renamed. But not after Jacques Parizeau. I'd like to see it renamed after an important Mohawk figure. IMO of course.

lagatta4

Absolutely not Parizeau. Parizeau could get something in the financial district or in the neighbourhood where he lived. Seems he already has a park there, no?

Making amends definitely requires an Indigenous name. Another good choice would be Myra Cree, as it is close to Radio-Canada - CBC. https://indspire.ca/laureate/myra-cree-2/ I knew here from Terres en vues, where I've freelanced for over 20 years.  The wikipedia article on her mistakenly calls her "bilingual" - she was trilingual at least, committed to the revival of the Mohawk language. And spoke French and English perfectly and eloquently.

lagatta4

The new Mtl flag and coat of arms will have an Indigenous symbol, the white pine, at its centre.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/montreal-flag-amherst-indigenous-...

Probably everyone in Mtl or with connections to the city should write to insist that the new name be Indigenous (either in an Indigenous language or related to an Indigenous event or concept).

progressive17 progressive17's picture

Then there is the matter of Christopher Columbus Rd.

lagatta4

Do you mean avenue Christophe-Colomb, or a similar street name in some other city? No shortage of them throughout the Americas.

pietro_bcc

I'm glad that its getting renamed and agree that it should be renamed after something related to First Nations people or specifically related to the peoples he tried to destroy.

Also yes there are many other streets that should be renamed and they should be, just like Alexis Carrell was.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
No shortage of them throughout the Americas.

Speaking of which...

 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
No shortage of them throughout the Americas.

Speaking of which...

 

"God bless Vespucciland....."

progressive17 progressive17's picture

lagatta4 wrote:

Do you mean avenue Christophe-Colomb, or a similar street name in some other city? No shortage of them throughout the Americas.

Yes. That's the one. If I remember correctly there is a little park with his statue in it not far from the street.

lagatta4

Yes, it is just a bust, in little parc de Turin, not far from Christophe-Colomb but not directly adjacent to it. I've lived in the general area (Villeray - Petite-Patrie/Petite-Italie) for longer than I care to admit, but mostly due to Jean-Talon market and the two métro lines (the never-extended blue line took me to Université de Montréal in a few minutes).

lagatta4

Yes, it is just a bust, in little parc de Turin, not far from Christophe-Colomb but not directly adjacent to it - the park is about half-way between Christophe-Colomb and Papineau, north of  Jean-Talon. I've lived in the general area (Villeray - Petite-Patrie/Petite-Italie) for longer than I care to admit, but mostly due to Jean-Talon market and the two métro lines (the never-extended blue line took me to Université de Montréal in a few minutes).

There is also a bust to Isabella "The Catholic", in parc Laurier overlooking the southern portion of Christophe-Colomb in the Plateau. Ferdinand and Isabella's reign was also notorious for the expulsion of the Moors and the Jews who had contributed so much to Iberic society, as well as sponsorship of the guy from Genoa.https://artpublic.ville.montreal.qc.ca/oeuvre/monument-a-isabelle-la-cat...

As for the Americas, (or "America" often, in Romance languages), Turtle Island only refers to the Northern portion, north of what is now Central America. Abya Yala, a Kuna-language term, is probably the best equivalent to "America" or "the Americas": https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abya_Yala

By the way, I don't believe in pulling everything down; often it is better to contextualize history by a plaque also indicating the nefarious deeds of rulers and other famous people.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Should John A MacDonald's statue in Dominion Square be taken down? There's a lot of talk about that. I agree,the sins of the past SHOULD be remembered but in a plaque,not a larger than life statue. Another questionable statue is Admiral Nelson at Place Jacques Cartier. I think if we took down all the statues of figures mired in sin,there wouldn't be no statues in the city.

So how far should we go?