Victoria councillors on Thursday (Feb. 17) unanimously supported the renaming of a Fairfield street memorializing a 19th century colonial politician to the Lekwungen translation for ‘truth.’
The recommendation to change Trutch Street to Su’it Street came from city staff, following consultations with residents of the street and the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations.
There have been calls to rename the street for more than a decade. The current council decided to take action last summer after a University of Victoria class started an online campaign calling for a change. The street is named for Joseph Trutch, B.C.’s first lieutenant governor, who enacted numerous racist policies affecting Indigenous people and was known for holding them in disdain.
In June, Mayor Lisa Helps and Couns. Ben Isitt, Jeremy Loveday and Sarah Potts brought forward a motion suggesting the use of Truth Street instead. Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations further suggested the Lekwungen translation for truth, ‘su’it.’
On Thursday, council sitting as committee of the whole unanimously approved the latter change, as well as staff suggestions to further consult with the nations and work with residents and businesses on the street to officially change their addresses.
A bylaw amendment to rename the street will be voted on at council’s March 3 meeting. Lekwungen speaker Elder Elmer Seniemten George will be invited to attend and confirm the correct pronunciation of the new name.
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