Downtown Montreal’s Amherst Street is no more. Its name is now Atateken Street.
The street was originally named after Jeffery Amherst, a British general who advocated the use of biological warfare to kill Indigenous peoples.
According to CBC, In 2017, then-mayor Denis Coderre said celebrating “someone who wanted to exterminate Indigenous peoples” wasn’t the best path toward reconciliation and announced the decision to change the name.
Atateken signifies the idea of equality among people in Kanien’kéha, the Mohawk language.
“Atateken translates to brotherhood, group of people or nations sharing commonalities like values and beliefs, which could loosely be translated as our relations,” said Hilda Nicolas, director of the Kanesatake Language and Cultural Centre.
The city of Montreal also mentions that the name signifies peace, as the street connects La Fontaine Park and the St. Lawrence River