Montreal to honour Indigenous history with name change for Amherst Street

Montreal will officially change the name of Amherst Street on Friday to mark National Indigenous Peoples Day.

A spokesman for Mayor Valerie Plante says the new name will honour someone of Indigenous significance.

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The street has long been named for British general Jeffery Amherst, who oversaw the capitulation of Montreal on Sept. 8, 1760.

Amherst is accused of using blankets that he knew were contaminated with smallpox to quell Indigenous rebellions. His name appears across the continent and can be seen in such places as the town of Amherst, N.S., and Amherstburg, Ont.

Youseff Amane, a spokesman for Plante, declined to provide any further details ahead of the announcement.

Plante's predecessor, Denis Coderre, had announced in 2017 the city's intention to change the name. The current administration convened a committee last fall to come up with a suitable name for the downtown street.

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