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Winnipeg Marks Official Renaming of Bishop Grandin to Abinojii Mikanah

June 21, 2024 1:14 PM | News

By The Canadian Press

Abinojii Mikanah

Street signs for Abinojii Mikanah were recently installed along the former Bishop Grandin Boulevard. (CITY OF WINNIPEG)

Winnipeg held a ceremony on National Indigenous Peoples Day to rename a major street originally named for a Catholic bishop who championed residential schools.

City council voted to rename Bishop Grandin Boulevard in the city’s south end to Abinojii Mikanah last year.

The new name translates to “children’s way” in Anishinaabemowin.

Bishop Vital-Justin Grandin was identified by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission as leading the campaign for residential schools.

Mayor Scott Gillingham says renaming the street acknowledges the past injustices and honours the resilience and strength of Indigenous communities.

Frank Beaulieu, a knowledge keeper and member of the group who chose the new name, says it unites all Manitobans regardless of race or culture.

“I believe our children and grandchildren unborn will walk in a humble way with humility, respect and love for one another,” he said.

The first street signs bearing the new name went up in May.

Two other thoroughfares in the city named after Grandin were also changed.

Gillingham said the decision to rename the streets is more than a symbolic gesture.

“It’s an affirmation of our commitment to the preservation of Indigenous languages and cultures for future generations,” he said.

Friday’s renaming ceremony included teachings from First Nations, Inuit and Metis elders, music and powwow dancing and speeches from Indigenous and non-Indigenous dignitaries.