A Brampton school, which has borne the name of Canada’s first prime minister whose contributed to traumas facedby residential school survivors, will have its new name by next spring.
An update on process of renaming Sir John A. Macdonald Sr. Public School in Brampton will be heard at a Peel District School Board meeting on Wednesday (Dec. 15), trustee Nokra Dahroub said on social media. According to a timetable that Dahroub shared, a member of the Peel Indigenous Network of Educations (PINE) has met First Nation community members to discuss possible names.
This involves “learn(ing) how the Indigenous of the land where the school stands (truth) can be represented in a name that unites communities through land-based learning, Indigenous knowledge and science (reconciliation),” the PDSB states.
Numerous school boards, municipalities and post-secondary institutions across Ontario and Canada have removed the names and likenesses of Macdonald and Egerton Ryerson from buildings and public spaces. Both 19th-century leaders are strongly linked to Canada’s residential school system.
Since the release of the Truth and Reconcilation Commission’s findings in late 2015, some teacher unions have supported calls for renaming schools.
On May 27, the Tk’emlups te Secwépemc First Nation confirmed that the remains of at least 215 children who attended the Kamloops, B.C., residential school had been located through the use of ground-penetrating radar.
A few days later, Gail Bannister-Clarke, the president of the Peel local within the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario, wrote to PDSB asking that the name of the school immediately be changed. The board said June 16 that it would begin a consultation process.
The Brampton school serves grades 6, 7, 8. Located at 250 Centre St. N., it is situated on traditional territory of the Wendake-Nionwentsio, the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, the Mississauga, the Haudenosaunee, the Attiwonderonk-Neutral and Anishinabewaki, according to native-land.ca.
InBrampton recognizes that details of this article might be disturbing. People who need emotional support or assistance can contact the Indian Residential School Survivors Society toll-free at 1-800-721-0066. The society also offers a 24-hour crisis line at 1-866-925-4419.
(Cover photo via Google Earth.)