The mural of Bishop Vital-Justin Grandin at the Edmonton LRT station that used to bear his name will be removed this fall.
The City of Edmonton made the announcement in a news release on Thursday, saying the decision was made after “extensive discussions with the Grandin Working Circle and other stakeholders.
“Edmonton’s Grandin Station murals, glorifying one of the architects of Canada’s residential school system, proved too much for many survivors and their families,” said Dr. Terry Lusty, Métis Elder and member of the working circle.
“With no intent to offend anyone, but in an effort to address the discomfort and re-traumatization of survivors, it was decided to remove the images causing the grief and eventually replace them with more acceptable images that have yet to be determined.”
The mural was commissioned in 1989 by the Francophonie jeunesse de l’Alberta board of the day. It shows Grandin and a nun removing an Indigenous baby from their family.
The mural was originally created to mark the historical contributions of Alberta’s Francophone community, particularly Grandin.
Edmonton decided to remove the mural and rename Grandin Station to Government Station in June. The motion passed with unanimous support from council.
The mural space was covered with orange and will remain covered until it can be removed. The other artworks installed in 2014 by Sylvie Nadeau and Aaron Paquette will remain, the city said.
There wasn’t a specific date for when the mural will be removed.
The discussion to remove the mural happened at city council in June as the country was reeling from the discovery of hundreds of unmarked graves at former residential school sites.
In June 2020, a petition was created to remove the mural as well. As of publishing, it had received more than 10,000 signatures.
– with files from Caley Ramsay, Global News