School boards in AB, BC, ON discuss names of schools, undertake renaming processes

Several schools’ names have come under discussion and, in some instances, changed to better reflect local Indigenous cultures. After consulting with the Cowichan Tribes Vision Committee, the Cowichan Valley School Board has announced that the Cowichan Secondary School will have a name with a traditional First Nations spelling: Quw’utsun Secondary. The Greater Victoria School District is currently working with the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations to create a Lekwungen name for George Jay Elementary. The new name is expected to be unveiled in the 2023/2024 school year. In North Bay, Bay Today reports that the Near North School Board’s decision to rename Chippewa Secondary School has been met with resistance and a petition. Indigenous leader George Couchie responded to the school board’s request for input by arguing that the name is not a negative: “Let’s recycle whatever they saw as negative and make a positive out of it. Keep the school’s name Chippewa.” In Calgary, a protest took place to pressure public school officials to rename Sir John A Macdonald School. Student Makena Halvorsen told the Calgary Sun that students have been campaigning for a name change for almost two years.

CTV News (Quw’utsun) | CTV News (George Jay) | Bay Today (Chippewa) | Calgary Sun (Sir John A Macdonald)