Ville de Gatineau
Name change for Amherst Street – A co-creative process between the two nations
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Ville de Gatineau
News release
Name change for Amherst Street – A co-creative process between the two nations

Gatineau, September 30, 2022. – As part of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, Gatineau is announcing that it will rename Amherst Street in the Hull sector in 2023. The City is setting up a co-creation process with the community of Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg through a joint working committee. The committee will bring together members of that community, the Toponymy Committee, elected municipal officials, and residents of Amherst Street.


Quick facts

At a meeting held on May 2, 2022 in Kitigan Zibi, Chief Dylan Whiteduck confirmed to the City his community's interest in participating in the process. The meeting initiated the collaboration between Gatineau and Kitigan Zibi, following a nation-to-nation approach.
The co-creation process will provide a positive, convivial working experience to strengthen ties and pursue the collaboration with Kitigan Zibi.
On September 21, 2021, the Municipal Council mandated the Toponymy Committee to carry out the process of changing the name of Amherst Street. This name has raised an important toponymic issue in Quebec and in Gatineau, because of certain elements related to the history of the British general.
In honour of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, the Gatineau Library has prepared a guide containing initiatives, projects, works and activities. It is available on the Library's home page at gatineau.ca/bibliotheque.

The steps of the selected process

It should be noted that one of the priorities of the Toponymy Committee's work plan is to make more room for Aboriginal place names. Here are the main steps of the joint process:
Step 1: Field meetings in Kitigan Zibi and Gatineau to launch the project and discussions.
Step 2: Identification and proposal of three (3) names in Anishinabemowin by Kitigan Zibi (notably by its Elders). These names will be submitted for discussion to the joint working committee.
- The names shall be proposed in accordance with the following criteria: unifying name in Anishinabemowin, spirit of reconciliation and brotherhood, ease of pronunciation and number of letters.
Step 3: The joint working committee will select a name from the suggestions provided by Kitigan Zibi. This committee includes:
- The (elected) Chair of the Toponymy Committee
- 1 member of the Toponymy Committee
- 3 representatives of Kitigan Zibi
- 2 elected officials of the districts crossed by Amherst Street
- 2 residents of Amherst Street
Step 4: The Toponymy Committee will recommend the name selected by the joint working committee to the Municipal Council (mandatory step) for approval.


Citations

"It is with honour and dignity that we begin this toponymic process in collaboration with the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg community and the residents of the sector. Our intention is to conduct a co-developed process that facilitates reflection and decision making. This approach is guided by human values such as respect, listening, equality and fraternity, which are also at the forefront of the City's reconciliation initiatives. Let us remember that the City prioritizes initiatives to strengthen relationships, and I would like to point out that the survivors' flag is raised at Maison du citoyen on the occasion of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation," said France Bélisle, Mayor of the City of Gatineau.

"Today, the City of Gatineau and our community, the Kitigabn Zibi Anishinabeg are beginning the process of renaming Amherst Street. The new name will be proposed by our elders and will be in Anishinabemowin. Having an Anishinabemowin name and presence in the City, which is the heart of our territory, is long overdue. We are very pleased that the City has embarked on this path toward reconciliation and is ridding itself of the name Amherst. We encourage all citizens to learn why the names and statues of individuals such as Jeffery Amherst, John A. MacDonald, Hector Louis Langevin are being removed across the country," said Mr. Frankie Cote, Band Council member of the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation.

"Through its toponymy, the City wishes to consolidate the sense of pride of its citizens and nourish their collective memory. I am very proud that the city is prioritizing a co-creation approach with the community of Kitigan Zibi for this process. In fact, by making a larger place for Indigenous peoples in Gatineau's toponymy, the City wishes to contribute to reconciliation efforts and to the enhancement of the Indigenous presence and culture in Gatineau," added Gilles Chagnon, Chair of the Toponymy Committee.


Images

From left to right: Steve Moran, Municipal councillor of the Hull-Wright district, Tiffany-Lee Norris Parent, Municipal councillor of the Touraine district, France Bélisle, Mayor of the City of Gatineau, Frankie Cote, Band Council member of the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation, and Jocelyn Blondin, Municipal councillor of the Manoir-des-Trembles–Val-Tétreau district.
France Bélisle, Mayor of the City of Gatineau, and Frankie Cote, Band Council member of the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation.
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Published by
Service des communications
Ville de Gatineau
Source
Jean Boileau, ARP, FSCRP
Director,
Service des communications
Ville de Gatineau
819-595-7171
boileau.jean@gatineau.ca
@ville_gatineau

À propos de Gatineau

Reconnue pour sa qualité de vie, Gatineau est une ville de 291 000 habitants. Elle est située sur la rive nord de la rivière des Outaouais, et s'étend à l'est et à l'ouest de la rivière Gatineau.

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