Oshawa could rename a small downtown road named after a British assimilationist.
Bagot Street, which runs east-west between Queen and Simcoe streets, is likely named after Sir Charles Bagot.
Bagot was the 1841 Governor General of Canada whose Commission proposed several harmful tactics to Indigenous people. His report focused on ways to assimilate Indigenous People into Colonial culture. It stressed the importance of European control of the education of Indigenous children.
It also resulted in laws that defined Indigenous identity (forcing individuals to carry only one legal status, either Indigenous or citizen) and prohibited the sale of alcohol to First Nations people.
The City of Oshawa is in the process of consulting with several community stakeholders about potentially renaming Bagot Street — the Community Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, the Métis Council, Bawaajigewin and the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nations.
“It’s important that we take on part of that decision and saying ‘Yes, we believe this to be the decision we ought to take,'” said Coun. Derek Giverson at the Monday, June 20 Council meeting.
The issue was referred to staff for further consideration and will come back to a future Oshawa Council meeting.
If Oshawa decides to make the change, there has been no indication what Bagot Street’s name would be changed to.
There is also a Bagot Street in Brooklin.