Canada

Nenshi calls on Calgary school boards to change the names of two schools

Nenshi urged the Calgary Board of Education and the Calgary Catholic School Board to change the names of Langevin School and Bishop Grandin High School as soon as possible

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At her regular council meeting on Monday, Mayor Naheed Nenshi passionately urged the Calgarians, including the city’s two school authorities, to continue the fight for justice for the country’s indigenous people.

Organizations and individuals across Canada have gathered in mourning, with many calling for further action, following an announcement by the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation Thursday that the bodies of 215 children were found buried on the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School ongoing changes made.

On Monday, Nenshi presided over the council in a 215-second minute of silence to honor this and the other estimated 6,000 children believed to have died in boarding schools from 1831 to 1996.

“The time has come to find ways to truly involve tribal peoples in the prosperity of this nation,” he said.

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“It is time for minimization, excuses, and rationalization, and people like the prime minister’s hand-picked social studies advisor spend the weekend tweeting, ‘Well, they all died of TB anyway and other people died of TB.’ The time for that is long gone. “

Nenshi then urged the Calgary Board of Education and the Calgary Catholic School Board to change the names of Langevin School and Bishop Grandin High School as soon as possible.

Langevin School in Calgary on Thursday June 4, 2015. Mike Drew / Postmedia File
Langevin School in Calgary on Thursday June 4, 2015. Mike Drew / Postmedia File

“The time of trembling is long gone. The trial period is long gone, ”he said. “Both bodies should change the names of these schools at their next meeting.”

Bishop Vital-Justin Grandin was a Roman Catholic priest and bishop who is believed to have brought the idea of ​​expanding the country’s boarding school system, particularly in western Canada, directly to Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald after seeing similar facilities in France.

The Canada Truth and Reconciliation Commission said Grandin “led the boarding school campaign” as an act of “aggressive assimilation” to convert and “civilize” indigenous children to Christianity.

Where Grandin led the boarding school system campaign, Hector-Louis Langevin was the architect.

In 2017, the Calgary City Council decided to rename the Langevin Bridge, first opened in 1910, to the Bridge of Reconciliation.

Nenshi praised the federal government for establishing a national crisis line for Indian residential schools and urged all Calgarians to know what role they are playing in reconciliation.

“Donate to a good cause, educate yourself, teach your children, talk to indigenous peoples about their experiences and what they are looking for in our community, get loud and get political.”

ocondon@postmedia.com

Twitter: @oliviacondon

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