‘It should have never been named Ogden Point’: Peter Ogden relative reacts to name change

Watch It seems everyone has an opinion about the Ogden Point name change including a member of the Ogden family who says the name should go.

A day after learning Peter Ogden’s name will be removed from a seaside section of Victoria’s James Bay neighbourhood, the fur trader’s great-great-great-great-granddaughter is giving the controversial decision an added dose of context.

Rachel Perkins took to Twitter Monday night releasing a series of tweets about a relative she has spent 15 years learning about. She said she does not believe Ogden Point should have been named after her ancestor in the first place.

The insightful Twitter thread was in response to the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority’s decision to remove the Ogden name as part of a rebrand. The Harbour Authority maintains the decision to rename the area “The Breakwater District” is not about erasing the past, or Peter Ogden.

Perkins confirms much of what historians know about Peter Ogden, a fur trader and explorer.

She says he did kill a First Nations man during a fur trading incident. She also says he was violent and stubborn, even “pig-headed” but says that’s only part of his story.

“From all of our family records he felt horrible about that for the rest of his life, and for the next 30 years tried really hard to make ammends and repair relationships between the Hudson’s Bay Company and himself and the local first nations, wherever he happened to be,” Perkins says.

Despite Ogden’s name appearing all over the Pacific Northwest, including a school in 100 Mile House, Perkins doesn’t believe place names should named after people, including Ogden Point.

“I’m of the belief that it should have never been named Ogden Point to begin with, it has a name,” she says.

“That land belongs to the Lekwungen people in Victoria, and I would love to see the name restored to the Lekwungen name for that land.”

Although Perkins has no problem with the Harbour Authority changing the name, she says she would prefer the new name to follow in the footsteps of the James Bay Library.

The branch opened in 2018 and is called “sx?e?x??? t???x?” (pronounced s-hweng hw-ung tongue-oo-hw) which the Greater Victoria Library says is the Lekwungen name for James Bay. The name was selected through a “Name That Library” campaign in consultation with the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations.

Ian Robertson, the CEO of the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority says the decision was not about erasing history.

“It’s not erasing what happened. I think we should be very open and transparent about what happened. It’s really about celebrating this place, what it has become, and what it holds for the future,” Robertson says.

The new name will be unveiled on Sept. 18 as part of a new rebrand for Ogden Point.

You can read Rachel Perkins tweets on Peter Ogden here:

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