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Quill Plains chapter calls on McKenna to change name of Fort Amherst national park

Will Minister McKenna listen to Mi’kmaq leader John Joe Sark?

The Council of Canadians Quill Plains (Wynyard) chapter has called on the federal minister responsible for Parks Canada to remove ‘Amherst’ from the name of a national park near Charlottetown.

The Canadian Press has reported, “It’s a ‘grave insult’ that a national park in Prince Edward Island still bears the name of a military general who wanted to kill aboriginal people with smallpox, says a Mi’kmaq leader.”

That article further explains, “John Joe Sark, a member of the Mi’kmaq Nation traditional government, says the name of 18th-century British military commander Jeffery Amherst should be removed from the Port-la-Joye–Fort Amherst historic site near Charlottetown. ‘He may be a hero to the colonial government or the Settlers’ Society or whatever, but he’s no hero to the Mi’kmaq people.'”

Chapter activist Elaine Hughes writes, “I find it particularly repugnant that, on more than one occasion, you have refused a request from the Mi’kmaq Grand Council and the Council of Canadians to remove the name Amherst from this historic site.”

She highlights, “Actions always did speak louder than words; I look forward to learning that you have changed your mind on this issue and will immediately rename this historic site in consultation with Keptin Sark and the Mi’kmaq nation.”

The letter from Hughes follows Council of Canadians vice-chair Leo Broderick’s letter to McKenna in which he refers to this recent Guardian editorial titled, ‘Honouring a monster’. The newspaper editorial board states, “We don’t raise statues to psychopaths or name places of historical significance for mass murderers. Instead, we honour and remember their victims. The refusal by the monuments board to drop Amherst is unacceptable.”

To send your own message to McKenna, you can contact her via:

email – Catherine.McKenna@parl.gc.ca

Twitter – @cathmckenna

telephone – 613-996-5322