At the June 7, 2021 Board Meeting, HWDSB Trustees voted to create an Indigenous-informed process to rename Ryerson Elementary School through ethical engagement and consultation with local Indigenous communities and key stakeholders.
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. The renaming process will be conducted in the spirit of Truth and Reconciliation.
Please find updates below:
- June 14, 2022: Ryerson Renaming Decision
- February 14, 2022: Call for submissions in Ryerson school renaming
- January 27, 2022: Update on Ryerson Renaming Process
- June 8, 2021: HWDSB Trustees Unanimously Vote to Rename Ryerson Elementary School Through Indigenous-Led Process
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.
Process & Timelines (Note: timelines are subject to change)
- January 2022 – Engage Indigenous knowledge keepers to understand how the land has shaped human and natural activity on the school site, and to suggest potential names.
- 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.
Updated on Tuesday, June 14, 2022.