Gatineau collaborates with Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg community to rename problematic street
On September 30, the survivors’ flag was raised at the Maison du citoyen to mark the National
Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
It was then announced that Amherst Street in the Hull sector would be renamed in 2023.
Gatineau is adopting a co-creation process with the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg community for this
project. Members of the community, the Toponymy Committee, elected officials, and residents of
Amherst Street will work together to change the name.
The street is named after Jeffery Amherst, a British Army Officer and former Governor General
of Quebec, who advocated for the genocide of Indigenous peoples. On September 21, the
Municipal Council mandated the Toponymy Committee to carry out the process of changing the
name of Amherst Street.
In May this year, at a meeting held in Kitigan Zibi, Chief Dylan Whiteduck confirmed that his
community would be interested in collaborating with Gatineau for this project. The meeting
followed a nation-to-nation approach. Gatineau hopes the co-creation process will strengthen
ties and create a positive work experience with the community.
"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,” said Frankie Cote, Band Council member of the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation.
“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 and Hector Louis Langevin
are being removed across the country.”
The Elders will propose three names in Anishinabemowin, which will be submitted to the joint
working committee. Gatineau says the name must meet the following criteria; ease of
pronunciation, number of letters, unifying name in Anishinabemowin, and spirit of reconciliation
The joint committee will then pick a name and will recommend it to the Municipal Council. The
committee includes the elected chair of the Toponymy Committee, a member of the Toponymy
Committee, three representatives of Kitigan Zibi, two elected officials of the district crossed by
Amherst Street, and two residents.
Photo: Courtesy of the City of Gatineau
Cap: 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.