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Victoria councillors recommend street name change to reflect Lekwungen peoples

Committee vote unanimous in support of Su’it Street over Trutch Street, council vote happens March 3
Trutch Street is named after B.C.’s first lieutenant governor, whose policies displaced Indigenous people across the province. It will soon be renamed Su’it Street. (Google Street View)

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 (Səʔit in Lekwungen) 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.

READ ALSO: Online campaign to rename Victoria street gets support of hundreds

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.

READ ALSO: City staff recommend Victoria rename Trutch Street to Lekwungen translation for ‘truth’

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About the Author: Jane Skrypnek

Hi, I'm a provincial reporter with Black Press Media, where I've worked since 2020.
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