Call for submissions in Ryerson school renaming
Dear students, families, staff and community members,
As you may know, we are renaming Ryerson through an Indigenous-informed process that embraces ethical engagement, consultation with local Indigenous communities, and the spirit of Truth and Reconciliation.
Many consider Egerton Ryerson, our school’s current namesake, an architect of Canada’s residential school system that committed cultural genocide against Indigenous children and families.
So far, we have engaged Indigenous knowledge keepers to understand how the land has shaped human and natural activity on the school site, and to suggest potential names.
The next step in the process is to invite potential name submissions.
How to Submit a Name:
Before participating, please review the Guiding Principles of the Renaming Process below.
We will accept name submissions from February 14 to March 21, 2022, using three methods:
- Email your name suggestion to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Complete the online naming survey at hwdsb.info/RyersonRenaming
- Participate in a group consultation, details of which will be shared in the weeks ahead.
Guiding Principles of the Renaming Process
- Commitment: We are committed to the Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
- Collaboration: We work with Indigenous communities through active listening, transparency, respect, and humility. We must always work toward sustainable relationships.
- Consultation: We have an ethical duty to consult with Indigenous communities. Consultation happens continually: before, during and after processes and projects. Consultation requires relationships and trust.
- Consensus: We arrive at consensus by listening to the opinions and concerns of others – everyone works toward a suitable decision. Not everyone may be pleased with the outcome, but they accept it is the best decision for the community.
- Names: The Land Acknowledgement that HWDSB uses emphasizes the importance of the land we are on, its history, and the responsibility we share, to care for it in perpetuity through the Dish with One Spoon wampum. We focus on the activity, significance and energy of a place (historical and current) through Indigenous worldviews to uncover potential names which might be in Indigenous languages.
Next Steps in the Process & Timelines (Note: timelines are subject to change)
- February 2022 – Bring together a Naming Circle with representatives including Ryerson students, administration, Ward Trustee, Superintendent, staff, families, and community members; Indigenous Education Circle member(s); and others as needed.
- March 2022 – The Naming Circle reviews suggested names, asking: Does the name reflect and honour the land? Is the name free of colonialism, racism and oppression? Is there broadly based support for the potential name? The Naming Circle chooses one name for the school through a consensus model.
- April/May 2022 – The Naming Circle recommends one name to Board of Trustees. Trustees confirm the chosen school name through Board motion.
- June to September 2022 – Our school celebrates its new name, involving all the groups that contributed to the process.
We appreciate the feedback we have received from our school community, and we are encouraged by this authentic engagement opportunity.
We will continue to share updates along the way at www.hwdsb.on.ca/ryerson