Métis Manitobans have started protesting over the Wolseley Avenue name, saying that they will ‘walk in the face of someone who tried to eradicate us.’
Wolseley led an army of 1,000 strong to suppress Louis Riel’s Red River Resistance in 1870. Métis Manitobans are still remembering this clash, saying that Col. Garnet Wolseley instituted the reign of terror in the 1870s, inflicting horrible crimes upon the indigenous population.
Now, hundreds of posters are being distributed calling for the renaming of the Wolseley neighborhood, along with Wolseley Avenue and Wolseley School.
“Names like this and other colonial names in the city continuously cause harm and force people to walk upon our lands— our kin, our relatives — walk in the face of someone who tried to eradicate us,” said Chantal Garand.
Debbie Patterson, a long-time area resident, is one of those who support the change. She said:
“If you know anything about the history of Manitoba you know that Gen. Wolseley was a bad dude. We say we care about the land. We say we care about the environment, and if you can’t see the connection between reconciliation and caring about the land and climate change and justice in general and disability justice … then you’re not paying attention.”
Adrian Challis, another Wolseley resident, commented:
“Times have changed and our awareness around Indigenous issues and things pertaining to symbols, names, has come to light. And I agree it has to change. Find a name that represents everybody.”