Oliver Community League calls for neighbourhood name change
EDMONTON -- The Oliver Community League is calling on the city of Edmonton to change the name of the downtown neighbourhood, citing harmful policies led by its namesake Frank Oliver.
The OCL claims Oliver, who served as a member of parliament between 1904 and 1917, "spearheaded many harmful policies that directly targeted Indigenous communities, people of colour, newcomers and people with disabilities."
"We wish to bring the community together under the excitement of uncovering who we are and lead a discussion on how we should name ourselves," reads a OCL letter to the city posted on Facebook.
"This namesake does not reflect the spirit of diversity and inclusion that our community represents."
OCL calls on the city to begin a process to rename the area as well as the creation of a 30-year name re-evaluation process.
The letter is signed by members of the Sucker Creek Cree First Nation as well as OCL's president and secretary.
"I think it’s overdue and i think it’s something that has to be done," said Chief Calvin Bruneau with the Parachase First Nation.
Mayor Don Iveson said he supports the call to action.
Oliver served a federal minister of the interior and Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs. In those roles, he influenced policies on parks and immigration.
He died in 1933.