When the founders of Bishop Grandin Greenway started a non-profit organization to build a greenspace for the community, it seemed like the obvious choice: name it after the road that runs along its entire length. At the time, there was not a lot of thought given to who Bishop Grandin was.
We now know so much more. in 2009, The Truth and Reconciliation Commission started a 6 year journey travelling the country, hearing personal experiences of the Indian Residential School survivors and documenting the impacts.
It has become known since then that Bishop Vital-Justin Grandin was one of the architects of the Residential School system. The recent discovery of unmarked graves at former schools across Canada has prompted calls for the removal of his name from various landmarks -- a call that we support. On June 3 we made the following statement:
The volunteer board of Bishop Grandin Greenway Inc. acknowledges the harms of residential schools and the role Bishop Vital-Justin Grandin had in their establishment. We strongly support the City of Winnipeg's efforts to explore the removal of Bishop Grandin from Winnipeg landmarks, in the spirit of reconciliation.
The City of Winnipeg has initiated consultations with respect to the renaming of the Boulevard. Those consultations will likely lead to a new name for our Greenway as well -- perhaps the same as the Boulevard or perhaps something else, but we want to respect the consultation process and allow that to unfold.
There is no firm timeline around the selection of a new name, but we expect a report to council with a recommendation this fall. We anticipate working with the City during the renaming process, and will report back to you when more information is available.