On Monday, Edmonton city council unanimously passed a motion to cover up the Grandin LRT mural and to remove the Grandin name from the LRT station.
The motion from Mayor Don Iveson, passed in a vote of 13-0 in support.
“Like many Edmontonians, I am concerned about the Grandin LRT Station mural and sites bearing the Grandin name, including the station,” the mayor said in a statement June 3.
“It is time to take this action.”
Bishop Vital-Justin Grandin was an early advocate of the residential school system who lobbied the Canadian government to fund residential schools in the late 1800s.
In response to the discovery of the remains of 215 Indigenous children buried in unmarked graves at a residential school in Kamloops, B.C., there have been calls across the country and right here in Edmonton to rename schools, train stations and other public places that are named after the architects of the residential school system.
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“I agree with residential school survivors, their families, and the thousands of Edmontonians from all walks of life who are calling on the city to address the mural, and remove his name from the LRT station and area,” Iveson said.
“The legacy of residential schools unambiguously represents cultural genocide in this country.
“It’s not just Indigenous Canadians asking for it and a small number of allies amplifying it — it is a very widespread societal demand and I suspect it will weigh heavily on most, if not all, councillors.”
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The Francophonie jeunesse de l’Alberta board of the day commissioned mural in 1989. It depicts Bishop Grandin and a nun removing an Indigenous baby from their family. Behind them, is Bishop’s house, according to the Francophonie jeunesse de l’Alberta.
FJA said the mural was designed to honour Grandin for his contributions to French culture, language and religion.
— More to come…
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