Vancouver’s Trutch Street to be renamed by the Musqueam First Nation


VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Vancouver’s Trutch Street will be renamed by the Musqueam First Nation after city council unanimously backed the decision on Thursday.

The motion, introduced by Mayor Kennedy Stewart, proposed to rename the street as an act of reconciliation, following a request from Musqueam Chief and Council.

“Joseph Trutch was a racist and the chief architect of racist policies that have inflicted immense and long-standing damage on First Nations peoples,” the motion reads.

After council voted to go ahead with the plan, Stewart tweeted saying it was something local First Nations have been calling for for over 10 years.

“I am proud that we have now acted. It’s a simple act, but an important way to restore decision-making power to Indigenous governments, ”he wrote.

“I look forward to learning about the new name and other ways to reverse the wrongs of the past. “

Joseph Trutch, was the first Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia. He was born in England and came to Canada in 1859. When he wrote to his family in the UK about the indigenous people he encountered in the Oregon Territory, he called them “lazy. “And” ugly “.

Trutch also claimed that indigenous peoples had no rights to their lands and helped reduce the size of reserves by 90 percent.

RELATED: Vancouver Mayor Seeks To Rename Trutch Street

Introducing the motion on Tuesday, Stewart said he learned more about who Trutch was and what he was responsible for after being approached by Musqueam management.

“It’s just shattering the tale of Trutch’s past history – his attitudes and actions towards Indigenous people. I was horrified, “he says.

The decision to give the First Nation and not the municipal government the power to choose a new name is also something Stewart said was made in a “spirit of reconciliation.”

Stewart told council on Tuesday that this street was not the only civic asset celebrating a colonial figure, but said the move would establish a process that could be followed when renaming other streets or monuments.

“We hope for a change. And that’s why I limited myself to this one street to learn, so that we all learn how it could happen, ”he said.

“Council confirms that it is open to considering similar requests from the Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations,” the motion reads.

In recent years, some statues of colonial figures have already been removed from public places – notably Judge Matthew Begbie outside the New Westminster courthouse and Sir John A. MacDonald at Victoria Town Hall. The recent discovery of the remains of hundreds of people in anonymous graves on the grounds of former residential schools in British Columbia and Saskatchewan has prompted reconsideration of the names of streets and institutions after figures who helped perpetuate the genocide of the peoples natives in Canada in cities across the country.

“It’s not about setting the story aside, it’s about choosing who we celebrate,” said Stewart.

“He will always be remembered in history, but I don’t think we need to celebrate him by naming a street after him.”

NEWS 1130 has contacted Musqueam First Nation for comment.

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