Council to vote on replacing streets honouring Bishop Grandin with Indigenous names
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Winnipeg city council will soon vote on a long-awaited new name for Bishop Grandin Boulevard and other places with similar monikers, due to concerns over the name’s legacy.
Council will consider a call to rename the prominent boulevard as Abinojii Mikanah. In addition, Grandin Street is proposed to become Taapweewin Way and the Bishop Grandin Trail would be renamed to Awasisak Mēskanow, if approved.
The new names are meant to honour Indigenous experience, culture and history, replacing the current designations that are among many streets, places and buildings in the city considered offensive to members of that community.
Complaints to the city first arose over the name Bishop Grandin in 2018, due to Bishop Vital-Justin Grandin’s (1829-1902) support for the residential school system.
“Grandin believed that First Nations peoples needed to be “civilized” and viewed residential schools, specifically industrial schools, as the means to accomplish this mission,” a city report notes.
Mayor Scott Gillingham spoke in support of the changes Monday.
“If we’re sincere about making the changes along the path of reconciliation… in this case, the renaming of Bishop Grandin, then we need to take actions that go beyond putting up panels that someone may or may not ever see to educate people,” said Gillingham.
“I think sometimes even when things are difficult, or even a little bit disruptive, if we’re truly committed to the journey of reconciliation, we may have to make some decisions that are at times a little bit disruptive.”
The report does not provide a cost estimate to make the changes, as that has yet to be determined.
Born and raised in Winnipeg, Joyanne loves to tell the stories of this city, especially when politics is involved. Joyanne became the city hall reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press in early 2020.