You can view a PDF version of this letter here.
June 1, 2021
His Worship Mayor Brian Bowman
510 Main Street
Winnipeg, MB R3B 1B9
Re: Renaming Bishop Grandin Boulevard is one step towards reconciliation
Dear Mayor Bowman,
I am writing to you today in my role as Grand Chief of Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO) Inc. to advise you that I am in support of the calls from community members to change the name of Bishop Grandin Boulevard in Winnipeg.
As you are well aware, Indigenous peoples are experiencing tremendous pain at this time as we confront the tragic news that the remains of 215 children were found on the grounds of the Kamloops Residential School. People across the country are profoundly impacted by the legacy of these schools.
Having streets and schools named after the very people who have caused harm to Indigenous people is one of the painful realties we are living with today. Now that there is growing awareness of the damage done due to the residential school system, this seems like an opportune time to move forward in selecting a new name for Bishop Grandin. I would like to suggest that if we are to honour any person by naming a street after them, it would be a good step on the path of reconciliation to consider choosing an Indigenous person.
If you have any questions or if my office can be of any support to you in this matter, please contact my assistant Mark Sweeny.
Grand Chief Garrison Settee
Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc.
cc: MKO First Nations
Winnipeg Council members
Grand Chief Arlen Dumas, Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs
Grand Chief Jerry Daniels, Southern Chiefs’ Organization
Dr. Barry Lavallee, CEO of Keewatinohk Inniniw Minoyawin Inc.