At the July 6, 2021 Special Board Meeting, York Region District School Board trustees voted to rename Sir John A. Macdonald Public School following the presentation of a report on renaming the school.
This decision is consistent with Policy #445, School Names, that requires school names to be based on principles of equity and consider the culture, history and accomplishments of the school(s) affected.
“Reviewing the names of our schools is an important part of our commitment to creating safe, welcoming and inclusive learning spaces for all of our students,” said Cynthia Cordova, Board Chair. “Students, staff and families at this school can feel proud of being a part of this ongoing learning and part of a school community committed to equity, inclusivity and Truth and Reconciliation.”
The school was named after Sir John A. Macdonald, the first Prime Minister of Canada who supported the creation of residential schools, and created policies to starve Indigenous peoples, to remove them from their homes on the plains to allow for railroads and settlement of non-Indigenous people. In addition to targeting Indigenous populations, Macdonald also denied Chinese immigrants citizenship and supported legislation that would exclude them from voting until 1946.
“As a school board committed to Truth and Reconciliation, it is essential that we engage in learning, listen to Indigenous voices, and take the right steps in response to that learning,” said Director of Education Louise Sirisko. “We also have a responsibility as an educational organization to model what it means to listen, learn and take action to create a better future.”
More details about the renaming process will be shared as information becomes available. The renaming process will begin in the fall and include consultation with the Chippewas of Georgina Island and local school community. As a first step, today the Board has removed the name “Sir John A. Macdonald” from the front signage of the school and the school building.
York Region District School Board is the third largest school district in Ontario with over 128,000 students in 180 elementary schools and 33 secondary schools. York Region students consistently perform above average in provincial testing and the Board is one of the top achievers in Ontario. For more information about the York Region District School Board, please visit the Boardwebsiteand follow YRDSB onTwitter, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn.As a first step, today the Board has removed the name “Sir John A. Macdonald” from the front signage of the school.