Stretch of rapids on Gatineau River bears racist moniker, ****** Rapids


spaminator
#1
Stretch of rapids on Gatineau River bears racist moniker, ****** Rapids
By Matt Day, Ottawa Sun First posted: Friday, July 17, 2015 07:23 PM EDT | Updated: Friday, July 17, 2015 09:10 PM EDT
Tucked away behind a stretch of farm land in rural Quebec, about two hours north of Ottawa, are beautiful, pristine rapids that glisten in the sunlight.
As striking as these waters are, they have an extremely ugly name.
Welcome to ****** Rapids.
A quick search on Google shows that, yes, this is the correct spelling of the bit of choppy water along the Gatineau River no wider than the length of a hockey rink. The name of the town that's home to the waterway, Bouchette, doesn't even show up on Google Maps. Just the glaring name of the rapids.
So how did the rapids get their name? It's a tale that's been obscured by the passage of time.
And, furthermore, when it comes to such anachronistic monikers -- and symbols, as shown by the recent spotlight on the Confederate flag -- what do we do? How do we handle these leftover pieces of history's racism?
***
Bouchette resident Pierre Cecire says the rapids are historic and that there's no need to change their name.
His family has owned the land that backs onto the rapids for generations.
The cattle farmer says people have come knocking at his door curious to see the rapids. One man even tried to rename them Eagle Rapids.
That didn't fly.
"A long time ago, more than 100 years ago, a black man died in a log jam. He was dead in the water," Cecire says in heavily accented English.
"It's just a name. Yeah, it's weird, bizarre, but I think because it's historical it's OK."
***
That tale differs by degree from the official record.
The Province of Quebec officially recognized the name in 1983.
The Toponymy Commission -- the government department responsible for the names of places -- attributes its origins to 1912, when Father Joseph Guinard, travelling down the Gatineau River in a canoe, discovered two dead black people and buried them there. The details of what had happened to them are unknown.
As the record goes, Father Guinard said a mass and christened the rapids in memory of the deceased.
It should be noted that the N-word is also an antiquated term for a steam-powered tool formerly used in sawmills to turn logs. For more than 150 years, the Gatineau River was a workplace for timber raftsman.
Regardless of which version of the story is more accurate, do good intentions of the time ease the sting of the derogatory term?
***
There's no simple answer for what to do with names such as ****** Rapids, says Dominique Marshall, a history professor at Carleton University.
"Naming cities and places is a political thing," she says.
Marshall says many factors have to be considered before a name should be changed.
"The history of names is very interesting because it tells us about the society of that time," Marshall says. "If you change the name, you erase the fact people could say that in broad daylight back then. But if you carry on using it you might be condoning an inequality that has never been acceptable."
There have been many high-profile name changes in the past. Before the First World War, Kitchener, Ont., was called Berlin, but that was changed during the war to erase any Canadian connection to Germany.
More recently, the France hamlet of La-mort-aux-Juifs (translated to "Death to Jews") came under fire last year for its distasteful nature.
The residents were reluctant to change the name.
***
Closer to home, another area resident, Athanase Ndikumana, doesn't see it as clear-cut that the name should be changed.
Ndikumana, a pastor for four parishes, including the church in Bouchette, is black -- one of the only black people in the small community.
"There's a respect of fact. If it's named that with the intention of black to be less and white to be high then, yes, it should be changed," said Ndikumana.
Others in the area aren't a fan of a name they feel mars beautiful Bouchette.
"I wouldn't go for it," says Jackie Chamberland, who works at the town's only general store. She lowers her voice: "I wouldn't go for n-----. It needs to be changed."
Bouchette's administrative assistant Raymonde Tremblay says that, to date, she isn't aware of the town hasn't receiving any complaints.
Quebec's other N-word names
The rapids in Bouchette aren't the only place in the province with the controversial word used in its name. Below is a list of names still used in Quebec today, despite the word's negative connotation.
Niger River - From 1989 to 2006, there wasn't just one 'G' used for the Niger River, but two. The river, which flows into Lake Lyster near the U.S.-Canadian border, got its name from the presence of African Americans near the banks, according to Quebec's Toponymy Commission. It is believed the river was used by slaves looking to flee north in the early 19th century. The book Forests and Clearings: The History of Stanstead County published in 1874 states the name of the river comes from the 1804 establishment of a family of blacks named Tatton.
****** Rock - Located near Saint-Armand, Que., 50 km south of Montreal, it is actually a hill, according to the Toponymy Commission. The commission states at the foot of the hill is a cemetery where between six and twenty slaves were believed to be buried between the years of 1794 and 1883.
******-Eddy, First rapids, Second rapids, Third rapids -- Made official in 1988, the origin for the name of this series of rapids is unknown by the Toponymy Commission. The rapids begin about 115 km west of Montreal.
Twitter: @mattdaymedia
Pierre Cecire stands on the banks of ****** Rapids along the Gatineau River in Bouchette, Que., on Monday July 13, 2015. MATT DAY/OTTAWA SUN


http://www.torontosun.com/2015/07/17...-******-rapids
 
CDNBear
#2
Haters gonna hate ****** rapids.
 
SLM
+1
#3
Ah phoque!
 
Blackleaf
+1
#4
Guy Gibson, who led the Dambusters during World War II, had a black dog called N*gger. The Dambusters lads loved N*gger. Sadly, N*gger was killed by a car on 16th May 1943, the day before the Dambusters raid. He was buried at midnight as Gibson was leading the raid. "N*gger" (Morse code: -. .. --. --. . .-. ) was the codeword Gibson used to confirm the breach of the Möhne Dam. N*gger's grave is at RAF Scampton, Lincolnshire.



 
Walter
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by BlackleafView Post

Guy Gibson, who led the Dambusters during World War II, had a black dog called N*gger. The Dambusters lads loved N*gger. Sadly, N*gger was killed by a car on 16th May 1943, the day before the Dambusters raid. He was buried at midnight as Gibson was leading the raid. "N*gger" (Morse code: -. .. --. --. . .-. ) was the codeword Gibson used to confirm the breach of the Möhne Dam. N*gger's grave is at RAF Scampton, Lincolnshire.



Great story and great movie. Grade 11 physics teacher showed us that movie back in the day and nobody cared that the dog, which is in the movie, was called Ni99er, but now the white liberals get their thongs in a bunch over that name.
 
CDNBear
#6
Who doesn't love ni99ers?
 
spaminator
#7
Quebec locales using N-word, could soon be renamed
By Matt Day, Ottawa Sun First posted: Tuesday, August 11, 2015 01:08 PM EDT | Updated: Tuesday, August 11, 2015 05:41 PM EDT
Some Quebec locales which use the N-word in their titles could soon be getting a name change, says the province’s governing body overlooking place names.

The Quebec Toponymy Commission will present a report to its members in the fall to determine whether or not places like ****** Rapids, a small stretch of the Gatineau River in the town of Bouchette, should remove the racial slur from their names.

There are 11 place names in Quebec that could be affected – six that use the N-word in English and five that use the French version of the word, negre.

“To say we are changing them right now is going a little too far,” said the commission’s communication advisor Julie Letourneau. “It’s possible some could be changed and some could stay the same. There are a bunch of factors to consider.”

She said those factors include public consultations, limiting controversy and, in some cases, permissions from families.

“All those places are official names in Quebec,” she said. “We respect the way it’s been used so far, but we’re looking at the importance and the heritage of it.”

The Sun first reported on ****** Rapids’ controversial name last month. The commission attributed its origins to 1912, when Father Joseph Guinard, travelling down the Gatineau River in a canoe, discovered two dead black people and buried them there. As the record goes, Father Guinard said a mass and christened the rapids in memory of the deceased.

“Through the media, we’ve been getting comments about (the name),” said Letourneau.

Dominique Marshall, a history professor at Carleton University, previously told the Sun re-naming a place is a delicate process.

“The history of names is very interesting because it tells us about the society of that time,” Marshall said. “If you change the name, you erase the fact people could say that in broad daylight back then. But if you carry on using it you might be condoning an inequality that has never been acceptable.”

matt.day@sunmedia.ca (external - login to view)

Twitter:mattdaymedia

Place names in Quebec:

- ****** Rapids – Bouchette

- ****** Eddy Premier, Deuxieme, Troisieme – Grenville-sur-la-Rouge

- Rocher ****** – Saint-Armand

- ****** Riviere (now Riviere Niger) -- Hatley

- Lac du Negre – Lac-Lenotre

- Riviere du Negre – Notre-Dame-du-Bon Conseil

- Ruisseau du Negre – Lac-Lenotre

- Le Buttereau-du-Negre – Les Iles-de-la-Madeleine

- Lac a Ti-Negre – Shawnigan
Pierre Cecire stands on the banks of ****** Rapids along the Gatineau River in Bouchette, Que., on Monday July 13, 2015. MATT DAY/OTTAWA SUN

Quebec locales using N-word, could soon be renamed | Canada | News | Toronto Sun
 
shadowshiv
+2
#8  Top Rated Post
When my parents were kids, they (as in all kids) used to call those black licorice candies N!ggerbabies. It was a different time back then, and there certainly wasn't any malice behind it. Just like this stretch of rapids. There is no malice behind it, so why should it be changed? It's part of the history.
 

Similar Threads

0
Senators stretch win streak
by CBC News | Nov 25th, 2006
5
This is QUITE a stretch!
by Ten Packs | Oct 20th, 2005
no new posts