Langevin Bridge to be renamed Reconciliation Bridge in spirit of 'truth and healing'
Bridge named after man who helped found now-disgraced residential school system for Indigenous children
An iconic Calgary bridge is set to be renamed as part of the city's reconciliation efforts with Canada's Indigenous peoples.
On Monday, city council will vote on a motion to rename the Langevin Bridge — which crosses the Bow River at Fourth Avenue S.E. — as Reconciliation Bridge. The proposal has wide support on council and could pass unanimously.
The bridge was built in 1910 and named after Hector-Louis Langevin, a Father of Confederation.
According to the city's notice of motion, Langevin also played a key role in establishing Canada's residential school system for Indigenous children.
"Whereas we live in a time of reconciliation, where we are establishing new relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians based on mutual recognition of the past, mutual respect and a sincere desire to forge a better future together through a process of truth and healing," the notice of motion states.
An important part of reconciliation with Indigenous peoples is to acknowledge and understand the good and the bad aspects of our shared history, according to the notice of motion.
"There'll be plaques that will actually talk about the history of the bridge, that will talk about Mr. Langevin and the good things he did and why the bridge was named after him for so long," Mayor Naheed Nenshi said.
"But they'll also say in 2017, the community decided to use this bridge as a symbol for our ongoing reconciliation and our ongoing walking together on a path towards mutual prosperity and success."
Nenshi says a re-dedication ceremony for the bridge will be held later this year.
The name change was recommended by the city's Aboriginal Urban Affairs committee.
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