Winnipeg mayor to introduce motion calling for Bishop Grandin Boulevard name change

Winnipeg mayor Brian Bowman speaks to media. John Woods/Canadian Press

Winnipeg’s mayor says it’s time to change the controversial name of a major Winnipeg roadway.

Brian Bowman tweeted Friday that after consultation with the Welcoming Winnipeg Committee of Community Members and the Indigenous Advisory Circle, he will move a motion at City Hall next week to support the renaming of Bishop Grandin Boulevard.

The motion will also direct the city’s Indigenous Relations Division to consult with Indigenous people, including residential school survivors, elders, and knowledge keepers, on a new name that would honour Indigenous experience, culture and history.

Bishop Vital-Justin Grandin is known as one of the architects of the residential school system.

READ MORE: Calls to change name of Bishop Grandin Boulevard

“It’s very triggering to see that name be honoured in our city,” said Reanna Merasty, chair of the Welcoming Winnipeg Committee.  “We are reminded of the harms and the genocides that residential school has inflicted on Indigenous people.”

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Councillors Vivian Santos and Brian Mayes both took to Twitter saying they would support the motion.

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The motion from Bowman reads “while the immeasurable harm caused by residential schools cannot be undone, the truth of what occurred needs to be understood and one measure the City can take to honour that truth is to re-name Bishop Grandin Boulevard.”

Merasty said she hopes most Manitobans would support a potential move.

“I know even within the Bishop Grandin (area), that even non-indigenous people support this decision,” she said. “And I think that’s the definition of the true ally is not only understanding the harms it has inflicted, but really listening to the Indigenous population and understanding the stance they come from and the experiences that have happened to them.”

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