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Montreal’s Amherst Street name change to mark National Indigenous Peoples Day

The sign for Amherst street is seen Wednesday, September 13, 2017 in Montreal. Amherst Street is named after the British general who supported giving smallpox-laced blankets to the Indigenous people living here in the 1700s.
The sign for Amherst street is seen Wednesday, September 13, 2017 in Montreal. Amherst Street is named after the British general who supported giving smallpox-laced blankets to the Indigenous people living here in the 1700s. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

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

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

READ MORE: Should Montreal’s Amherst Street be renamed after Jacques Parizeau?

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

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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.

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

READ MORE: University Street name change to Robert-Bourassa Boulevard is official

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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