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Residential school report: Should Calgary rename Langevin School and Bridge?

WATCH: The Langevin Bridge and Langevin School were named after Sir Hector Louis Langevin, a man regarded as instrumental in developing the residential school system, and now there are calls to change the name due to that fact. Jill Croteau reports.

CALGARY – A report on the horrors of Canada’s residential school system called it nothing short of a “cultural genocide,” making 94 broad recommendations -including greater police independence and reducing the number of aboriginal children in foster care.

As part of the fallout, the name of a Calgary school and bridge honouring one of the men behind the residential school system has come into question.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada attributes the following quote to then-Public Works Minister Sir Hector-Louis Langevin:

“In order to educate the children properly we must separate them from their families. Some people may say that this is hard but if we want to civilize them we must do that.”

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The quote is from 1883, and was Langevin’s explanation for the need to establish residential schools for Aboriginal children as presented to the Canadian House of Commons.

The summary of the Truth and Reconciliation report, released Tuesday, is the culmination of six emotional years of extensive study into the church-run, government-funded institutions, which operated for more than 120 years.

Its release prompted discussion online about whether Langevin Bridge and Langevin School should be renamed, including comments from historian Harry Sanders and Ward 9 councillor Gian-Carlo Carra.

With files from The Canadian Press