Naming marks the first time in Alberta's history that a provincial building is named after an Indigenous woman.
Submission by Paula E. Kirman, with files from Jeremy Harpe of CFWE-FM
A provincial government building has been named after Indigenous activist Muriel Stanley Venne. A historic first, the Edmonton facility at 12360 142 Street is now the Muriel Stanley Venne Provincial Centre.
The naming was announced on Oct. 25 outside the building, with Premier Rachel Notley present with Muriel Stanley Venne, as well as members of Venne's family.
“Muriel Stanley Venne has dedicated her life to helping improve the lives of Albertans. As an Order of Canada recipient, the founder of the Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women and the creator of the Esquao Awards, there is no one who deserves this honor more than Muriel,” said Premier Rachel Notley.
Venne has been a leader in Alberta's First Nations and Métis communities for more than three decades. In 1973, former Premier Peter Lougheed appointed her as one of the first seven commissioners to the Alberta Human Rights Commission. Since then, her work has been recognized by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and she has received numerous awards for her activism and advocacy for the fair treatment of Indigenous peoples within all levels of society.
“I am honored to be the first Indigenous woman in Alberta to have my name attached to a provincial government building,” Venne said. “I hope this is a sign to young women and girls across the country that they can raise their voices and demand to be treated with respect. In the past, I didn’t feel welcomed in my community, my province, or my country. That has changed today.”
The building is currently being retrofitted to become a multipurpose government centre. The construction work is expected to be finished by the spring of 2018.
Listen to Alberta's Indigenous Relations Minister Richard Feehan on the naming of the building after Muriel Stanley Venne.