Hamilton school board unanimously votes to rename Ryerson Elementary

A unanimous vote will see Egerton Ryerson’s name dropped from one of Hamilton’s public elementary schools.

Cam Galindo, trustee for Wards 9 and 10, put the motion forth last week calling for the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB) to rename Ryerson Elementary School in consultation with an Indigenous committee.

The motion was in response to the recent discovery of the remains of 215 children on the site of a former residential school in Kamloops, British Columbia, reigniting discussions about Canada’s history of racism, atrocity, and genocide towards Indigenous people.

Egerton Ryerson was a key architect of Canada’s residential school system, and the motion points to the removal of his name from the Hamilton elementary school as a step towards truth and reconciliation.

“We are still on a path to truth and reconciliation and must continue out work on Indigenous Education so that all Indigenous students and staff feel that they belong, and their identities are valued, recognized, and affirmed in our schools,” reads the motion.

In addition, all other school names within the HWDSB will be reviewed to ensure they reflect the school board’s mission, vision, and values.

The search for a new name for Ryerson Elementary will be underway in the near future.

A few days ago, Hamilton Bike Share – the organization that runs Hamilton’s bike share program – also made quick work of removing Ryerson’s name from one of their local bike hubs.

Lead image courtesy of Google Maps

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