Winnipeg, MB – The City of Winnipeg has forwarded recommendations by its Indigenous Relations Division (IRD) on renaming Bishop Grandin Boulevard, Bishop Grandin Trail, and Grandin Street. These recommendations have been submitted for consideration at Executive Policy Committee on Monday, March 13, 2023.
Executive Policy Committee had directed IRD to engage in consultations with Indigenous people to bring forward a proposal for renaming Bishop Grandin Boulevard and Grandin Street to a name which honours Indigenous experience, culture, and history. To develop a proposed name change, IRD convened an Indigenous Knowledge Naming Circle comprised of Indigenous Elders, residential school survivors, knowledge keepers, and youth to discuss and propose new names.
IRD is recommending to Executive Policy Committee that the City rename (with phonetic spelling):
- Bishop Grandin Boulevard to Abinojii Mikanah (A-bin-oh-gee Mee-kin-ah)
- Bishop Grandin Trail to Awasisak Mēskanow (Aa-wa-sis-uk Me-ska-noh)
- Grandin Street to Taapweewin Way (Tap-way-win)
Two of the Elders that participated in the Indigenous Knowledge Naming Circle offered reflections on the names chosen.
Elder Frank Beaulieu, Bear Clan, Treaty One Nation, said: “It was at the time of the discovery of the 215 children. As we sat together as Knowledge Keepers at the workshop, when they asked my spirit, I thought of, and in clarity, that it would be named Abinojii Mikanah (Children’s Roadway).”
Elder Betty Ross, Pimicikamak Cree Nation, Treat Five Nation, and a Survivor of two Residential Schools, said: “Tansi N’tootémak, Nikiikiisimon. Chistémowa étinamowak Kisé-Mantou, ENIIKANENIMAK. Tapéh Sawénimokowak mina Towiichiihkowak owoh Nistoh Kiyass Méskanowah, Tamiiskochi-Wiinamak. Akonih-ékotowchi, Kakinow kékwan Kiyatih Mino-Tatapisikopaniw. Ekwanih-owoh anoch kapaskiitépanikih oski Meskanawa”.
“I offered sacred tobacco and prayers to the creator in my first language, Cree, for guidance and direction on the proposed name changes. Everything came full circle, hence these new proposed Indigenous names.”
The legacy of Bishop Vital Grandin has been reconsidered in recent years following the release of the Final Report on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Canada. In addition to the 94 Calls to Action, the report included a detailed history of the residential school system in Canada and identified Bishop Vital Grandin as leading the campaign for residential schools.
These recommendations were developed separate from the Welcoming Winnipeg process, which was adopted in January 2020 to guide the City to resolve the absence of Indigenous perspectives in Winnipeg’s historical markers and place names. Street names are not included as part of the Welcoming Winnipeg policy, and continue to be governed by the Street Names By-law No. 115/2011.
The City’s report to EPC on the renaming of Bishop Grandin Boulevard, Bishop Grandin Trail, and Grandin Street is publicly available through the Decision Making Information System (DMIS).