A controversial highway in the San Clemente RM has been renamed in the spirit of reconciliation.
Brokenhead Ojibway First Nation and the rural municipality of St. Clements worked together to choose a new name for Colonization Road in Libau, Man.
Manitoba Township and First Nations Work Together to Rename Colonization Road
The new name, Reconciliation Road, was officially unveiled with a ceremony and the installation of a new street sign on Monday.
“The history of colonization is a painful history for indigenous peoples. We know that story very well; for us, it’s a lived experience, ”said Brokenhead Principal Deborah Smith.
Reconciliation through education
“It is a story that is not found in the history books of our schools, but in the resistance of our elders, our men and our women.
“My hope is that this first step leads us to a greater understanding of what we must do collectively, collaboratively, to evoke transformative change and create true treaty partnerships between our two levels of government.”
The new name comes more than a year after Earl “Buddy” Prince, the grandson of Canadian war hero Sgt. Tommy Prince: He started the conversation with a social media post asking the St. Clements council to consider changing the name of the road.
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RM of St. Clements Mayor Debbie Fiebelkorn said the council then approached the Brokenhead chief and council for help on how best to move forward.
The two communities took a collaborative approach to the project, which got the RM off the ground quickly by creating a new policy on renaming streets.
A public hearing was held in March and the St. Clements council officially changed the name of the road through statute in July.
“This has been a journey and a learning experience for many of us as we move on the path to reconciliation,” said Fiebelkorn.
“It is important that we understand the impact of these symbols and recognize the negative impact of colonialism.
“Respect, patience and courtesy must be the trademark of our ongoing relationship.”
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In addition to adding new signage at Monday’s ceremony, a rock and plaque were placed near the intersection of Reconciliation Road and Hwy 59 to commemorate the occasion and the partnership between the township and the First Nation.
“I am so happy that Brokenhead Ojibway First Nation has played a role in helping to dismantle the colonial public symbols that normalize colonization,” Smith said.
“We need to work together as treaty partners in the true spirit and intent of Treaty 1, to ensure that the next seven generations realize their rightful place within this country and within the lands of our ancestors.”
Winnipeg School Division of Truth and Reconciliation Education
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