Prince George City Council will consider the name change Monday evening, after consultation with the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation.
A proposal to rename O’Grady Road in College Heights to Dakelh Ti is being presented to City Council on Monday evening.
The move comes after City Council passed a resolution on July 12, 2021 to rename the road, following a request from Lheidli T’enneh Chief Dolleen Logan.
“The fact that Bishop (John Fergus) O’Grady, for whom O’Grady Road is named, played a key role in the administration of residential schools in British Columbia as deaths and child abuse were producing, is reason enough to change the name. Logan wrote in his letter to city council in July 2021. “His name is synonymous with crimes against Indigenous children. Our members and other aboriginal citizens of Prince George are forced to relive the trauma of residential schools every time we shop at stores in the College Heights area where O’Grady Road is located.
The proposed name means First Nation Road in the Carrier language, City Planning and Development Director Deanna Wasnik wrote in a report presented to council on Monday.
“The administration was invited to a meeting of elders to outline the steps for a street name change. During the meeting, a thoughtful conversation regarding potential road names, road signs, and timing of the name change took place,” Wasnik wrote. “The Lheidli T’enneh First Nation has confirmed their choice of the new road name which will be Dakelh Ti, which means First Nation Road. This name recognizes all Dakelh who attended the school located along O’Grady Road (former O’Grady High School) and boarding schools in general.
The City Safety Committee, which includes representatives from the RCMP, the Prince George Fire Department and the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George (which operates the 911 dispatch service in the area), and Committee No. had no concerns.
If council passes the motion to rename the road, the city government will work with the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation on the timing of the official name change, Wasnik added.
In an August 2021 report to the board, Wasnik said the change would affect five businesses (TD Canada Trust, Southridge Dental Clinic, PG Hearing Centre, Pink Perfect Laser Clinic and Spa Ltd. and Home Depot), 41 homes and the College. Heights. Mobile Home Park, with approximately 100 mobile homes, all of which have O’Grady Road addresses.
O’Grady Road’s former name was College Road. The city council approved the name of the road after Bishop O’Grady on April 10, 1989.
“Renaming a road has impacts on residents and businesses along the road, including updating address information on personal and business documents. The magnitude of the costs associated with updating address information is not fully known at this time; however, administration can confirm that City of Prince George records will be updated at no cost to the owner/occupier/business, and private utilities (i.e. Telus, Shaw, Fortis BC and BC Hydro) will update their records with the updated information upon receipt of a confirmation letter from the City of Prince George advising of a road name change,” Wasnik wrote in the August 2021 report. “Canada Post has also advised that residents affected by a route name change will receive additional mail redirection for one year.