Son of residential school survivors calls for Bishop Grandin Boulevard name change
WINNIPEG -- As Michael Ginter walks along the path beside Bishop Grandin Boulevard in Winnipeg, he recalls the impact residential schools had on his family.
Ginter said he was not forced to attend a residential school, but his parents struggled to cope with their experiences. Ginter was removed from his home and adopted by a non-Indigenous family.
“I was angry. I fled to drugs, to alcohol to try and kill the pain, it didn’t work,” said Ginter.
The boulevard is named after one of the architects of the residential school system. Ginter said the name needs to change.
“Let’s not honour somebody that’s the head guy in charge of all the pain and the hurt,” said Ginter.
With the horrific discovery in Kamloops of 215 children buried at a former residential school site, Probe Research conducted a poll on renaming the boulevard in Winnipeg.
More than half (55 per cent) of Winnipeggers who took part in the poll said change the name, while 28 per cent said keep it and educate people on the issue.
There was 17 per cent who said just leave the name as is.
There is now a push on at Winnipeg City Hall to replace the boulevard’s name with a new one.
“I think the time is now,” said Mayor Brian Bowman.
He put forward a motion for the city to consult with the Indigenous community and leaders, including with residential school survivors, to come up with the new name.
"To say there’s been a lot of dialogue would be an understatement. There’s been a lot on this which is welcomed,” said Bowman.
If he could make the decision alone, Michael Ginter has his own idea.
“We should rename the highway into the Orange Highway in honour of the children,” said Ginter.
EPC passed the motion to rename the boulevard and Grandin Street in St. Boniface.