The Quebec Toponymy Commission has responded to a petition started by Rachel Zellars, PhD candidate in our Department of Integrated Studies in Education (DISE), that asked the province to rename 11 locations because they contain the "N-word".
Initial reports indicate that the provincial commission has agreed to "de-officialize" the 11 names and have released a statement promising to consult the community during the renaming process.
RadioCanada International reported today that Zellars is not satisfied with this solution and insists that black Quebecers and/or black scholars play the primary role in any renaming process. For this story please read "'Nigger' name to be changed in 11 Quebec location" (by Carmel Kilkenny, September 28, 2015).
Various news sources have reported on this issue this week, incuding:
- "Quebec commission takes steps to remove N-word from sites," CTV Montreal, September 28, 2015.
- "11 Quebec sites that contain the N-word to be renamed:Quebec Toponymy Commission says place names that contain racial slur are pejorative, must go," CBC News, September 25, 2015.
- "Eleven Quebec locations to be renamed to remove racial slur," AB-NewsOnline, September 28, 2015.
National Post's Katherine Wilton reported on the petition originally in an article published Thursday, August 12, "Change names of Quebec places with N-word in them, petition asks Quebec commission". Shortly thereafter Rachel Zellars authored an opinion piece for the Montreal Gazette entitled "Canada's Long History of Racism," published on Wednesday, August 18, 2015.
Rachel Zellars is an attorney and PhD candidate in our Department of Integrated Studies in Education. Her work focuses on critical race theory and institutional racism in education. She is also an educator and founder of The Green School Montreal.