As a Franco American and Lewiston native, I feel it my duty to the founding board members and to the Franco community to address the name change of the Franco American Heritage Center to “Riverfront.”

Need I remind the current board of the $6.5 million raised as a way to preserve the Franco culture? Changing the name to improve business is not only folly, it’s insulting to the Francos.

What exactly does this name change do but mislead? It’s not on the river.

Cultural centers exist all over America, and they are built upon the backs of that specific culture. Irish, Jewish, African-American, Polish, etc. All of these places keep their cultural name first and foremost in their title.

The name of the center, which is its identity, does not detract from interest or inclusion, as the current board seems to think. Unless a person is truly anti-Franco, the “Franco” Center would never be a dissuasion for attendance.

The change of name seems like a whitewash and suppression of the Franco culture. I wonder if the board has asked its donors, founders or the Franco community their thoughts.

I see no positive outcome of this change. Only insult toward a community and resentment from it.

I could expound on my Franco pride, but I won’t. I can only hope that other members of the community will express theirs.

Nicolas Saucier Dubé, Brooklyn, New York

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