Petition calls for road’s name change

Staff

A new online petition is asking Fort Frances council to change the name of Colonization Road here.
The petition, which was started yesterday by Dawson Mihichuk on change.org, can be found at bit.ly/2oIb8WP
“Colonization Road has put Fort Frances on the map for all the wrong reasons, with national media outlets calling our town out on the outdated, racist street name,” Mihichuk wrote on change.org
“Fort Frances’ Colonization Road was the inspiration for the title of the CBC documentary, ‘Colonization Road,’ which examined the remnants of European colonialism and oppression of Canadian indigenous peoples,” he noted.
“We believe that change is long overdue.”
In an effort “to foster a positive relationship between indigenous and non-indigenous Fort Francesians, and to work towards reconciliation,” the survey calls on Fort Frances mayor and council to:
•immediately issue a statement about Colonization Road and the intent to rename it;
•consult with indigenous and non-indigenous residents of Fort Frances on possible new names for the road; and
•choose a name symbolic of the importance of indigenous peoples’ existence to Canada.
“We have an Elizabeth Street, Victoria Avenue, and countless other roads named after European Canadians,” noted Mihichuk.
“After all, what harm does having one road to celebrate indigenous peoples cause?
“It is time to put the past of colonization and racism behind us, it is time to move on,” he stressed.
“Rename Colonization Road.”
The petition has been garnering signatures, along with positive comments.
“I grew up in Fort Frances and it’s time to take real steps to recognizing discrimination and systemic racism in the community,” Carissa Copenace wrote at change.org.
“This is a good first step.”
“I want my hometown to be on the right side of history,” echoed former resident Andrew George.
“Sign this, make it happen,” urged Alex Cochrane.
The petition will be delivered to Fort Frances council.
Editor’s note: An editorial in the Feb. 22 edition of the Fort Frances Times, entitled “Just a thought,” had called on town council to rename Colonization Road as a gesture similar to when the town removed the name “Pither” from the Point Park three years ago.