Montreal has officially changed the name of rue Amherst after announcing the renaming earlier this year and concluding a transition period this month.\nGeneral Amherst made use of biological warfare to exterminate Indigenous populations.\nThis is just the latest symbolic gesture toward reconciliation by the city of Montreal.\nVisit MTLBlog for more headlines.\nOne of Montreal's age-old streets is being stripped of its old name and given a new one. The street 'Amherst' holds a dark history that is finally being brought to light. Jeffery Amherst, who the street is named after, is known as a father of biological warfare. He played a large role during the capitulation of Montreal in 1760.\nThe plan to rename the street was put in place by Mayor Coderre but finally executed under Mayor Plante. This was Coderre's second symbolic act toward reconciliation with Indigenous people after adding to the Montreal flag a white pine tree, a First Nations symbol of peace and harmony.\nThe changing of the street name from 'Amherst' to 'Atateken' is a move to more fully represent the diverse cultures of Montreal and to recognize the city's Indigenous roots.\nSerge Simon, the Grand Chief of Kanesatake, stated that he believes the new street name, Ataketen, is fitting for Montreal. The name, meaning "brothers and sisters" in the kanien'kéha language, serves as a reminder that we are meant to live together in peace.\nAccording to Mayor Plante, this is a step towards recognizing the wrongdoings of so many people remembered in street names and statues in Montreal.\nThere are towns in both Quebec and Nova Scotia that are named after Jeffery Amherst, as well as Amherst Island in Ontario. In the United States, there are 12 states that have towns named after this same man.\nView this post on Instagram C’est maintenant officiel: les premières plaques odonymiques ont été ajoutées au @centrevillemontreal et la rue Amherst devient la rue Atateken, qui signifie «frères et soeurs» en langue kanien'kéha! 📸 @andrequerry . . . #peuplesautochtones #indigenous #reconciliation #amherst #atateken #toponymie #village #montreal #mtlmoments #mtl A post shared by Valérie Plante (@val_plante) on Oct 21, 2019 at 4:39am PDT\nIn 1763, Amherst ordered blankets infected with small-pox to be distributed to Indigenous populations. And it seems Montreal only started admitting it in the last few years. The purposeful spreading of small-pox through blankets is biological warfare.\nI love this drawing of Lord Jeffrey Amherst gifting a smallpox-infected blanket to a Native American family... always shocks the students! pic.twitter.com/AIKb4ozq2C— TKidman (@t_kidman) January 14, 2019\n"You will do well to try to inoculate the Indians by means of blankets, as well as to try every other method that can serve to extirpate this execrable race," Amherst wrote in a letter telling the people working under him to exterminate the Indigenous populations of North America.\nSo thankfully, a street name that holds so much negative baggage is being given a new name — one that represents the people whose ancestors were harmed by all the wrongdoings of Amherst.\nAnd, as per usual, this change has left people with controversial opinions. This is how people are responding...\nEt bientôt plus de rues portant des noms de femmes!!! Société plus équitable# toponymie # feminisme— Claude Lefrançois (@ClaudeLefranoi4) October 21, 2019\n"And soon more street names will bear the names of women!!! A more equitable society #toponymy #feminism"\nOhhh ok ....une priorité pour la Ville pic.twitter.com/OkMfEkOSkQ— Gus Archer (@Gus_archer) October 21, 2019\n"Ohhh ok .... a priority for the city"\nGrosse job, rien d’autre à faire! pic.twitter.com/Y1ucKlkHpI— Alain Picard IT // Secure Hosting Server Montreal (@APicard27) October 21, 2019\n"Big job, nothing else to do!"\nBravo. Now that one racist is gone from the landscape, how about Lionel-Groulx next?— Andrew (@andycte) October 21, 2019\nThe removal of Amherst as a street name in Montreal is undeniably a move forward to a better, more transparent future for our city. This street name is just one of many problematic ones in our city, though.\nREAD ALSO: The Most Problematic Street Names In Montreal\nOther Montreal street names that were named after problematic historical figures include Ave. Christopher Colombus, whose actions precipitated the genocide of Indigenous people; Ave. Laurier, named for the man who created the Chinese Head Tax; and Rue Jean-Talon, named after the man who had Indigenous people stripped from their homes in order to take over their land.