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Mountain in New Brunswick with racist slur in title to be called by Indigenous name

FREDERICTON — New Brunswick says that starting in January a slur against Indigenous women will no longer be part of the name of a mountain, community and protected natural area.

The provincial government says the peak in Restigouche County will be known as Meto’mqwijuig Mountain — its original Indigenous name as documented in historical records.

The surrounding territory will be called Meto’mqwijuig Mountain Protected Natural Area and the community in the county will be known as Evergreen, a name chosen by residents.

New Brunswick’s government launched a 28-day consultation process in May for proposals to rename the mountain, the community and protected natural area.

It says the process to rename another six provincial “features” with derogatory names is underway.

The changes are in response to calls by Indigenous leaders and the province’s commissioner on systemic racism, who has said New Brunswick has more places named with the derogatory term than does any other province or territory.

“Changing the names of geographical features is a complex process, but it is important to eliminate the use of derogatory names in the province,” Tammy Scott-Wallace, minister for tourism, heritage and culture, said in a news release. 

“This is not about erasing history but ensuring that our province is a safe and welcoming place to live for all.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 16, 2023.

The Canadian Press