The Executive Policy Committee will decide whether three well-known Winnipeg streets and trails will be renamed to honour Indigenous culture.

The Indigenous Relationship Division (IRD) has recommended new names for Bishop Grandin Boulevard, Bishop Grandin Trail, and Grandin Street. The City of Winnipeg has forwarded these recommendations and an outcome will be made at Executive Policy Committee (EPC) on Monday, March 13.

Previously, the EPC had directed the IRD to engage with Winnipeg's Indigenous community to create a proposal for renaming Bishop Grandin Boulevard and Grandin Street to a name that honours Indigenous experience, culture and history.

Upon this request, the IRD held an Indigenous Knowledge Naming Circle comprised of Indigenous Elders, residential school survivors, knowledge keepers and youth to discuss and propose new names.

The IRD is recommending the following renaming to the EPC (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)

"It was at the time of the discovery of the 215 children. As we sat together as Knowledge Keeps at the workshop when they asked my spirit, I thought of, and in clarity, that it would be named Abinojii Makanah (Children's Roadway)," says Elder Frank Beaulieu from Bear Clan, Treaty One Nation. 

Elder Betty Ross from Pimicikamak Cree Nation, Treaty Five Nation, and a survivor of two Residential Schools says, "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."

Translation: "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."

Since the release of the Final Report on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Canada, the future of Bishop Vital Grandin has been in question. In addition to the 94 Calls to Action, the report included an in-depth look at the history of the residential school system in Canada and named Bishop Vital Grandin as a key person for residential schools.

These recommendations were developed separately 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).