Committee to review name of Calgary’s Sir John A. Macdonald School

The Calgary Board of Education could potentially strip the name of Sir John A. Macdonald from one of its schools as part of the ongoing effort toward reconciliation.

A motion to form a new committee was passed by the board on April 26, paving the way for a review of the current name of the junior high school in the northwest community of Huntington Hills.

“Trustees have heard from stakeholders, including students, that it is important that we review the name of the school,” said CBE officials in a statement released Monday. “Sir John A. Macdonald was Canada’s first prime minister and there is complex history attached to the name.”

Macdonald authorized the creation of Canada’s residential school system in 1883 that removed Indigenous children from their homes in an effort to assimilate them. Survivors of the system recounted physical abuse and hundreds of unmarked graves have been found at former sites of residential schools across the country.

According to the CBE, the seven-member committee will:

  • Review and consider historical research and analysis related to the school’s name;
  • Engage with stakeholders; and,
  • Provide a recommendation regarding the current name to the board.

The committee will be comprised of trustees, CBE staff, the school council chair and members of the community.

The CBE’s board of trustees will take into consideration the committee’s findings when it makes a decision on whether to keep or replace the Sir. John A. Macdonald name.

The school board previously renamed Langevin School to Riverside School and the Calgary Catholic School District replaced the name of Bishop Grandin High School with Our Lady of the Rockies.

An Ontario school board renamed its Sir John A. Macdonald Public School as part of Indigenous reconciliation efforts.

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