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  #1  
Old Posted Jun 2, 2021, 5:15 PM
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Should we rename Sir John A. MacDonald Parkway? (And other places)

Three city councillors seek name change for Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway, citing 'harmful legacy'

Megan Gillis, Ottawa Citizen
Publishing date: Jun 02, 2021 • 30 minutes ago • 1 minute read




City councillors whose wards border the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway have asked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for an Indigenous-led effort to rename the roadway along the Ottawa River.

“This is a small change that can make a big difference,” councillors Catherine McKenney, Jeff Leiper and Theresa Kavanagh wrote in a letter calling on the federal government to follow the example of Charlottetown, PEI.

City councillors there voted Monday remove a statue of Macdonald “and refuse to perpetuate the harmful legacy of Canada’s first prime minister and architect of the residential school system any longer,” the trio wrote.

The Ottawa councillors began by saying that parkway runs through their wards along the “Kìchì Sìbì” river on the territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabe.

The Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation’s discovery of the remains of 215 children buried at a former residential school in Kamloops, B.C. “makes clear that there is an urgent need to recommit ourselves to the project of reconciliation as a nation,” they continue.

“We are often recalled to the ways place names in our city perpetuate Canada’s genocide against Indigenous peoples; an obvious example of this phenomenon is the name of the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway.”

Originally called the Ottawa River Parkway, the route was renamed in 2012 by the then-Conservative government of Stephen Harper to honour Canada’s first prime minister.

City crews in Charlottetown took down the statue of Macdonald after council’s vote to permanently remove it from a downtown intersection as a response to recent revelations about Canada’s residential school system.

Council had been planning to improve signage and add an Indigenous figure to the Macdonald statue, but decided to remove it entirely following the discovery of the mass grave last week.

-with files from The Canadian Press

https://ottawacitizen.com/news/local...harmful-legacy

Last edited by waterloowarrior; Jun 4, 2021 at 10:17 AM.
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  #2  
Old Posted Jun 2, 2021, 7:16 PM
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Very frustrating that Harper went around renaming half the town, with a quarter of it branded with John A. It wasn't enough that he and Cartier already had a bridge, the airport and a bunch of other buildings? No, we needed to give them each a Parkway and Johnny a bank building.

Harper did that after he apologized for the residential school system and after the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada was established. WTF was he thinking?

I'd like to see the John A. Parkway renamed for his arch-nemesis Louis Riel as a royal F.U. As far as I know, Riel only has one school named after him in Ottawa.

While we're at it, the Georges-Étienne Cartier Parkway should also be renamed for an Indigenous leader, possibly one from the east. The idea of book-ending the downtown with the John A. and Cartier Parkways was to mark the partnership between the two men, Macdonald from English Canada West and Cartier from French Canada East. It would be fitting to flip that around and have an Indigenous Leader bare the name of the western parkway and an Indigenous figure along the eastern parkway.

Note that Cartier was dead by the time the residential school system was established. At this time, I don't think we're aware of what he may or may not have contributed to the Indigenous community's suffering. In any case, he has enough named after him, along with every other white politician of the era.

I would not go as far as removing Macdonald's statue from Parliament or renaming anything else, other than maybe the BMO Building Harper gave him as well (anything named recently when we should have known better). I'm pretty middle of the ground in that whole debate. Put up a plaque. List the good and the bad. Include the residential school system and Indigenous suffering in the history books. And for God sakes, build a monument to the victims of the Residential School system and colonialism. Why are we getting a monument to victims of Communism first?

Side note: renaming the already most popular museum in the Country, the Museum of Civilization to the much more generic History also pissed me off, but obviously we're facing a much broader issue with Macdonald.
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  #3  
Old Posted Jun 2, 2021, 10:14 PM
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Renaming it Kìchì Sìbì Parkway would actually make the LRT station conform to the standard of naming stations after nearby streets. Win win.

IMO scenic parkways and pathways should be named after natural features as much as possible.
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  #4  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2021, 12:52 AM
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I didn't even realize they formally changed the name of the Langevin Block in 2017 to 'Office of the Prime Minister and Privy Council' until I looked it up out of curiosity just now. That's good because Langevin was a major architect of the Residential School System.

Agreed: Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway has to go as soon as possible.
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  #5  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2021, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Kitchissippi View Post
Renaming it Kìchì Sìbì Parkway would actually make the LRT station conform to the standard of naming stations after nearby streets. Win win.

IMO scenic parkways and pathways should be named after natural features as much as possible.
I would be in agreement of renaming the the Parkway and Station Kìchì Sìbì as per the correct Algonquin spelling. At the same time, we might be labeling too many things Kìchì Sìbì, as we have way to much named for John A. Maybe rename the lookout Kìchì Sìbì but change the name of the Ward.
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  #6  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2021, 1:04 PM
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Originally Posted by J.OT13 View Post
I would be in agreement of renaming the the Parkway and Station Kìchì Sìbì as per the correct Algonquin spelling. At the same time, we might be labeling too many things Kìchì Sìbì, as we have way to much named for John A. Maybe rename the lookout Kìchì Sìbì but change the name of the Ward.
[Promenade] Kìchì Sìbì Parkway simply returns it back to Ottawa River Parkway/Promenade de la Rivière-des-Outaouais but under a local indigenous name for the river.

I don't think there is such a thing as "correct Algonquin spelling", especially because the Latin alphabet is not native to the language. Two tribes will not necessarily agree to the same spelling, and between dialects b and p as well as d and t seem to be interchangeable.

As for the ward, Kitchissippi has become a place name in its own right, much like Ottawa is different from Odawa or Adàwe (or Canada from Kanata).
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  #7  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2021, 2:53 PM
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In general we should re-evaluate how we used Imperial Figures to name places and monuments in our country. Not saying we should re-name Victoria BC, but there are a lot of things we could do that would revive accurate historical names
For example - who the heck is Logan from Mount Logan, Canada's highest peak. The Americans did the right thing by renaming McKinley to Denali.
Likewise renaming Queen Charlotte Islands to Haida Gwaii is also a good example.
Locally we need to recognize the Algonguin past, Zibi is a good example (not to say that it doesn't have any controversy)
Speaking of Victoria, why not rename Victoria Island to its proper name Asinabka?

Statues of Historicic political figures should be banned, I cringe when I pass by Queen Elizabeth on her horse in front of Rideau Hall, that statue has got to go!!!
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  #8  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2021, 3:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Tesladom View Post
Speaking of Victoria, why not rename Victoria Island to its proper name Asinabka?
Just to be clear, you are talking about the Victoria Island on the Ottawa River, not the Victoria Island in the Arctic? The latter's Inuktitut name is Kitlineq.


Victoria Island, Canada
Baffin_Island,_Canada.svg: Connormah
derivative work: Connormah (talk | contribs), CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Last edited by roger1818; Jun 3, 2021 at 3:35 PM. Reason: Added map.
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  #9  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2021, 4:09 PM
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Yes Ottawa River Victoria but Arctic Victoria should go as well
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Old Posted Jun 3, 2021, 5:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Harley613 View Post
I didn't even realize they formally changed the name of the Langevin Block in 2017 to 'Office of the Prime Minister and Privy Council' until I looked it up out of curiosity just now. That's good because Langevin was a major architect of the Residential School System.

...
Langevin Avenue off Beechwood will be renamed Commanda Way... after the late William Commanda from Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg, a respected elder and well known advocate for Indigenous rights

https://www.aptnnews.ca/national-new...liam-commanda/

I think that has been decided but not yet implemented.
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  #11  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2021, 6:02 PM
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Originally Posted by c_speed3108 View Post
Langevin Avenue off Beechwood will be renamed Commanda Way... after the late William Commanda from Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg, a respected elder and well known advocate for Indigenous rights

https://www.aptnnews.ca/national-new...liam-commanda/

I think that has been decided but not yet implemented.
Again though, we're renaming PoW and Langevin Avenue for him. Why do we have to rename multiple things for the same person every time? For me, PoW is best suited for Commanda. Langevin Avenue can be renamed for someone else.
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Old Posted Jun 3, 2021, 6:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Tesladom View Post
In general we should re-evaluate how we used Imperial Figures to name places and monuments in our country. Not saying we should re-name Victoria BC, but there are a lot of things we could do that would revive accurate historical names
For example - who the heck is Logan from Mount Logan, Canada's highest peak.

Sir William Logan, founder and first director of the Geological Survey of Canada.
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Old Posted Jun 3, 2021, 6:30 PM
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I am strongly opposed to renaming things without a really good reason. The fact that a historical figure did something that was the norm for their period in history is not a good reason. It is simply impractical to rename things every 20 years as new things become trendy or taboo. If the vegans take over in 50 years do we have to rename all the things named after meat eaters (hunting-centric indigenous cultures will be at the top of their list).
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Old Posted Jun 3, 2021, 6:34 PM
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Originally Posted by acottawa View Post
I am strongly opposed to renaming things without a really good reason. The fact that a historical figure did something that was the norm for their period in history is not a good reason. It is simply impractical to rename things every 20 years as new things become trendy or taboo. If the vegans take over in 50 years do we have to rename all the things named after meat eaters (hunting-centric indigenous cultures will be at the top of their list).
Comparing architects of opression and genocide vs. an indigenous society that was nearly wiped out to meat eaters vs. vegans.... I mean wow... just wow...
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Old Posted Jun 3, 2021, 6:39 PM
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Radical idea but we could always simply stop naming things after people and stick with local/natural names for things.

Quote:
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Comparing architects of opression and genocide vs. an indigenous society that was nearly wiped out to meat eaters vs. vegans.... I mean wow... just wow...
Big yikes.
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Old Posted Jun 3, 2021, 7:23 PM
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Comparing architects of opression and genocide vs. an indigenous society that was nearly wiped out to meat eaters vs. vegans.... I mean wow... just wow...
Langevin did not invent oppression or genocide, both were in existence long before he showed up. There was a widespread belief at the time that residential schools were a good idea. Obviously to modern eyes they are a terrible and appalling idea. But at the time they were supported by both political parties, the media, intellectuals, the medical community, etc. The last residential school closed in 1997. Should we also purge all PMs before Chrétien from history?
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Old Posted Jun 3, 2021, 7:46 PM
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Sir William Logan, founder and first director of the Geological Survey of Canada.
In that case, I think it's a suitable name.
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Old Posted Jun 3, 2021, 7:47 PM
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The fact that a historical figure did something that was the norm for their period in history is not a good reason.
The "norm" from whose point of view? Obviously a white male-dominated society.
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Old Posted Jun 3, 2021, 7:48 PM
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The "norm" from whose point of view? Obviously a white male-dominated society.
Looking forward to checking out Italy once I land at Mussolini Airport. Not to worry, his views at the time were supported by most.
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Old Posted Jun 3, 2021, 7:54 PM
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Originally Posted by acottawa View Post
Langevin did not invent oppression or genocide, both were in existence long before he showed up. There was a widespread belief at the time that residential schools were a good idea. Obviously to modern eyes they are a terrible and appalling idea. But at the time they were supported by both political parties, the media, intellectuals, the medical community, etc. The last residential school closed in 1997. Should we also purge all PMs before Chrétien from history?
I tend to agree in part. We shouldn't be renaming everything that bares Macdonald's name, but we do need to revisit how we perceive him as a historical figure.

Often times, "white saviours" go around removing statues and renaming things without consulting the groups who are actually concerned. I'm thinking about Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben's for example. I don't think the black community ever had a problem with those brands (note: I am not from the black community). Or Moffatt's crusade against Goulbourn. No one knew who Goulbourn was. He decided to fish the story out of the past and make a big deal out of it to change the Ward's name?

In the case of the Parkway, it was renamed for Macdonald recently when we should have known better. It's correcting a dumb mistake from only a few years ago.

This conversation should probably be moved to a more suitable thread.
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