Montreal

Indigenous-led committee will help pick a new name for Amherst Street

The street will be renamed after an Indigenous person who helped shape Montreal, said city spokesperson Samuel-Philippe Dugré.

Street will be renamed after an Indigenous person who helped shape the city

Amherst Street is named after the British general who supported giving smallpox-laced blankets to the Indigenous people living here in the 1700s. (Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press)

The Plante administration is creating a committee of Indigenous people to help pick a new name for Amherst Street.

The street will be renamed after an Indigenous person who helped shape the city, and the committee will come up with suggestions of people who the street can be renamed for, said city spokesperson Samuel-Philippe Dugré.

The participants are still being chosen, but that process should be done by the fall.

The north-south street just east of downtown Montreal was named for Jeffery Amherst, a revered British general who advocated the use of biological warfare, through smallpox blankets, to kill Indigenous people.

In one of his last acts as mayor of Montreal, Denis Coderre announced he wanted to strip the Amherst name from the street.

Now-retired Kahnawake Mohawk Council Chief Christine Zachary-Deom has suggested it be named after Huron Chief Kondiaronk, whose name currently graces a lookout on Mount Royal. 

He was a key figure in the 1701 treaty called the Great Peace of Montreal.

According to the city, organizations in the neighbourhood and merchants' associations will be kept informed of the renaming process as it progresses.

Based on a report by Radio-Canada's Laurence Niosi

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