York Region District School Board administrators voted to rename the Sir John A. Macdonald Public School at a special board meeting on Tuesday.
In a statement, the board said the decision to change the name is in line with its school names policy which “requires school names to be based on principles of fairness …”
“Reviewing the names of our schools is an important part of our commitment to create safe, welcoming and inclusive learning spaces for all of our students,” said Cynthia Cordova, Board Chair.
“The students, staff and families of this school can be proud to be a part of this lifelong learning and to be part of a school community committed to equity, inclusiveness and truth and reconciliation. “
While the board said the formal name change process would begin in the fall, on Wednesday it removed the name “Sir John A. Macdonald” from the front signage of the school and school building.
The name change process will include consultation with the Chippewas of Georgina Island and the local school community.
The board says that Macdonald, the first prime minister of Canada, “supported the creation of residential schools and created policies to starve indigenous peoples …”
“As a school board committed to truth and reconciliation, it is essential that we engage in learning, listen to Indigenous voices and take the right actions in response to that learning,” said the principal. of education Louise Sirisko.
Hundreds of anonymous graves have recently been unearthed at the sites of former residential schools in Canada, prompting backlashes against prominent figures linked to the residential school system.
Last month, the Ryerson statue on the downtown Toronto campus was toppled and the school said it would not be replaced.
Egerton Ryerson was one of the architects of the residential school system in Canada.