The crossing in the city’s downtown was named after an architect of the residential school system
By Drew Anderson, CBC News Posted: Jan 23, 2017 8:46 PM MT Last Updated: Jan 23, 2017 9:42 PM MT
Calgary’s Langevin Bridge, named after one of the men behind Canada’s residential school system, will be renamed Reconciliation Bridge.
The new name borrows from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which looked at the history of Canada’s infamous residential schools and how to heal the wounds left in their wake.
Hector-Louis Langevin was a Father of Confederation and a Conservative cabinet minister, serving as secretary of state for the provinces when the country’s residential schools were introduced.
The Langevin block on Parliament Hill is also named after him.
‘This stuff can be very easy’
On Monday, city council voted to change the bridge name with little debate and only Coun. Jim Stevenson opposed.
“This stuff can be very easy, it can be simple to do the right thing,” said Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, who brought forward the motion.
He said it was symbolically important to be discussing a bridge name in relation to healing wounds with the area’s First Nations.
“Crossing water is about taking the journey to your fellow person, it’s about walking to your fellow human being and joining your fellow human being,” he said.
The city will now work with First Nations and Calgary Heritage Authority to tell the story of the bridge and the reasons why the name was changed.
“And then I hope, to mark the 140th anniversary of the signing of Treaty 7 and the 150th birthday of this great nation, that in 2017 we’ll have a proper rededication ceremony,” said Nenshi.