Renaming Ryerson: Hamilton public school board asks for community’s help


Published February 14, 2022 at 11:49 am

The Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB) is turning to the community for help in renaming one of its schools.

In the summer of 2021, the board voted to rename Ryerson Elementary School in downtown Hamilton in the wake of the findings of unmarked graves on the grounds of former residential schools across Canada.

Egerton Ryerson, for whom the school is named, is seen by many as an architect for the residential school system.

“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,” the HWDSB said in a press release Monday (Feb. 14).

“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 to rename the school, the board said, is to invite potential name submissions from the community.

The HWDSB is asking members of the community to submit suggestions via email, through an online survey or during one of the group consultations expected to take place in the weeks ahead.

A set of guiding principles for the renaming has been devised and members of the public looking to make suggestions are urged to read them carefully before making a submission.

The new name, the HWDSB expects, will be selected by the end of the school year.

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