“Name dishonours the neighborhood”: review underway to rename a Winnipeg park
A park in Saint-Boniface could change its name because its current name was deemed offensive to Indigenous peoples in a request to the Welcoming Winnipeg Committee.
Papoose Park, located at 100 Comanche Road in the Niakwa Park neighborhood, is the center of the conversation, the name “Papoose” being considered an aboriginal insult by the applicant.
“The name dishonours the neighborhood and the city,” reads the response to an application question about the potential negative impact on the community.
“The word papoose is now considered offensive. At the time of the park designation it was not sure, but as the weather changes we need to keep abreast of updates. This name no longer fits.
The app quotes the definition of “papoose” from the Miriam Webster dictionary.
The word dates back to 1634 and is defined as the young child of Native American parents.
It has also been used to describe a baby carrier which usually consists of a fabric pouch, sling or sling to be worn around the torso. Although the second definition is not always considered offensive, it may be due to its association with the original definition.
The Welcoming Winnipeg initiative is part of the city’s ongoing reconciliation efforts. Its aim is to ensure that all contributions, experiences and perspectives are truthfully reflected.
Part of the initiative includes the Reconciling Our History policy, which guides possible changes to place names and historic marker decisions to better reflect Indigenous perspectives.
More recently, the city undertook to change the name of Bishop Grandin Boulevard, the namesake of which is considered by many to be an architect of Canada’s residential school system.
“Our Welcoming Winnipeg initiative will continue to search for names in our community. They matter, ”Mayor Brian Bowman said Thursday.
No new name alternatives were submitted with the proposal to rename Papoose Park, but she recommended a ceremony with Elders and Indigenous residents to collaboratively come up with a name.
The proposed name change is currently before a Winnipeg welcoming committee who will assess it and then submit a report to City Council for approval.