Calgary

Langevin Bridge petition requests name change over residential school link

A Calgary woman has started an on-line petition to rename the Langevin Bridge in Calgary because bridge namesake Hector-Louis Langevin was one of the architects of the residential school system.

Hector-Louis Langevin cited by the TRC as one of the architects of residential school system

A petition has been started to rename the Langevin Bridge because of its historical connection to residential schools. (Pride Calgary)

A Calgary woman has started an on-line petition to rename the Langevin Bridge because the man it was named after helped found Canada's residential school system.

More than 360 people have signed the petition.

Hector-Louis Langevin was cited by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission as one of the architects of the residential school system, in the 1880s. 

The schools were a central plank in an Aboriginal policy that was designed to 'eliminate Aboriginal governments; ignore Aboriginal rights; terminate the Treaties; and, through a process of assimilation, cause Aboriginal peoples to cease to exist as distinct legal, social, cultural, religious, and racial entities in Canada,' according to the TRC.

"I was outraged by the report when it came out, and I think that part of reconciliation is doing things like changing names of bridges and schools," said Cathleen Foster, who started the petition. 

"I  focused on the bridge primarily because the bridge is meant to bring people together not tear them apart," she said.

At some point, Foster says the name of the Sir Hector-Louis Langevin School in Calgary should also be changed, she says, but she focused on renaming the bridge because more Calgarians use it on a daily basis.

"I want to talk to the mayor personally, and say this is what people feel. I feel there's a silent majority out there," she said.

"Now that the truth is coming out and now that we're aware of it, I feel that it's really important that we change the name of this bridge."

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