by andrewricha98 on November 6, 2017 - 8:31pm
“Montreal adds Iroquois symbol to flag, Strips British general of the street name,” says Benjamin Shingler in his article posted on CBC News. One step forward for appreciating the impact of indigenous people that helped build this city. Furthermore, they will rename an existing street to an indigenous figure instead of a British general named Jeffery Amherst. The Mayor of Montreal added a white pine tree at the center of the flag which represents the Iroquois. This revelation happened on the 10th anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Right of Indigenous Peoples. This White pin represents a “Great Tree of Peace” a mark of a harmony of the five nations also recognized as the Iroquois Confederacy. The chief of the indigenous was moved when he saw the new flag. This is a movement toward reconciliation adds the author. Coderre confirmed that Amherst street would change. The general’s activities were dark and unpleasant for our history, Amherst wanted to kill the indigenous through smallpox blankets (a fatal disease), and his name should be removed. The Mayor adds that if we are moving in the right direction, we shouldn’t praise someone that wanted to massacre indigenous people.
Montreal is moving in the right direction I believe, by including the symbol shows a significant understanding and ability to recognize what the first nations did and helped build this city and country. Especially if the Europeans came and took it from them by force. Not only Montréal is moving in the right direction, Toronto as well. They are renaming new street names. They are getting a makeover, but the names are not new, in fact, they are thousand years old(1). Our past will haunt us forever, but we, the society, are moving in the right direction. Step by step we are resolving the tension between us and the indigenous. I have one small concern, what if these new native names are too long or hard to spell, for example, Wikaskokiseyin, if one would call for an emergency and has difficulty pronouncing the title to the police, ambulance, fire department. That is only a small problem, and they could always find a more straightforward name. I do agree that we should rename streets with first nations names because after all this is their land and the name that are on these roads and schools are not the prominent explorers and the best people that we think they are. I believe that only renaming the streets isn’t a big step. Many reserves have a high rate of suicide and a dangerous environment. The government should provide them with a better territory and build some houses, schools, hospitals to reduce the suicide rate because 126 out of 100,000 commit suicide the Canadian Institute of Health reports.
Adding your opinion is not wrong, I could’ve made some mistakes so feel free to comment and help me do a better job.