Jun 12, 2020 —
Mayor Pierre Leroux has proposed a re-dedication of the town name to someone else with a first or last name spelled RUSSELL. Considering the economic and environmental impact that would come from completely renaming a town and township, this proposal seems like a good solution.
However, it is imperative that Peter Russell and his deplorable ways are not lost in this. Further consideration should be given to acknowledging who the town was originally named after, why his actions were so inhuman, and how the town of Russell chose to take a small but necessary step towards progress. The history of this should be taught and displayed in some way.
I would like to thank you all for your support. This was never an attack on the physical town of Russell or the people within it. Many of us, including myself, consider it our hometown and would like to be proud, without hesitation, of where we come from. These small changes, while perhaps performative in nature, allow us to begin to acknowledge, face, and tackle the racial injustice that has occurred in Canada since the Europeans stepped on this soil right until this very day. Moving forward I hope that symbolic gestures can be transformed into real action within the community, as well as across the globe.
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