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N.B. now has process to eliminate derogatory place names

By Brad Perry Nov 17, 2023 | 6:30 AM

The New Brunswick government says it has a new process in place to eliminate derogatory place names.

First on the list is renaming a mountain, protected natural area and community in Restigouche County.

All three areas include a term which is derogatory to Indigenous women.

The mountain will be known as Meto’mqwijuig Mountain, which the province said restores an original Indigenous name documented in historical records.

Officials said the protected natural area will be named Meto’mqwijuig Mountain Protected Natural Area.

The community will be known as Evergreen, a name the province said was suggested and voted on by community residents. All three changes will take effect in January.

Work continues on the process of renaming the additional six features with the term under provincial responsibility.

“Changing the names of geographical features is a complex process, but it is important to eliminate the use of derogatory names in the province,” Tourism, Heritage and Culture Minister Tammy Scott-Wallace 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.”

New Brunswick started a government-wide review of toponomy in the fall of 2022 amid calls for changes to place names, including those with derogatory names.

Officials said the new streamlined approach will centralize the renaming process instead of having departments work independently.