A petition to change the name of Trutch Street in Victoria has nearly reached its goal.
Joseph Trutch was BC’s first Lieutenant Governor and in 1864, was appointed chief commissioner of lands and works, which placed him in charge of the Indigenous reserves in BC.
Trutch’s treatment of Indigenous people is detailed in the petition, which also provides an FAQ.
“Trutch cast Indigenous Peoples as lawless and violent, dehumanized them, and systematically displaced them from their land. Today, Victoria still commemorates this blatantly racist individual by naming a street after him,’” the petition read.
It’s documented that Trutch misrepresented facts to superiors, oversaw the disappearance of thousands of dollars meant for the Songhees First Nation, and added a detrimental clause in BC ‘s terms of union.
And it isn’t the first time Trutch’s name has been petitioned.
In 2018, UVic undergrad Lisa Schnitzler successfully petitioned the University of Victoria to remove the name of Sir Joseph William Trutch from a residence building on campus.
Dr. Reuben Rose-Redwood, professor of Geography at UVic agreed with the decision.
“[…] the naming of places is related to much broader questions of identity, social justice, collective memory, and political economy,” said Dr. Reuben Rose-Redwood in a video posted to UVic.
The Indigenous Solidarity Working Group hosted a debate on the renaming of Fairfield’s Trutch Street in 2018, but no application was made to the City Council to change the name so the name change never happened.
The current petition has a goal of 500 signatures and, as of this publication, has 465 signatures so far.
“Please contact the city councillors of Victoria, BC, and tell them why you think Trutch’s name should be removed from Trutch Street,” says the petition.