NLPS committee considers renaming elementary school for Indigenous leader

The Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools’ education committee has recommended that an education committee be formed to examine and change the name of Coal Tyee Elementary School. SD68 staff say that the name was originally thought to represent “a positive story of collaboration between the colonial and Indigenous peoples as well as representing Nanaimo’s heritage with respect to coal mining.” However, Ki-et-sa-kun (Coal Tyee) is also seen by Snuneymuxw “as a tragic figure given his interaction with the colonial peoples led directly to purposeful colonization of the area.” Tofino-Ucluelet Westerly News reports that this means that the name does not align with SD68’s policy. Joan Brown, Snuneymuxw First Nation chief administrative officer and district knowledge-keeper, said that renaming the school is important: “When we think about Coal Tyee … it’s really suggesting that we take a deeper dive in terms of healing and of that deeper understanding of the ancestral lens.”

Tofino-Ucluelet Westerly News