A high school near Halifax, Nova Scotia is changing its name to be more inclusive.
Principal Darlene Fitzgerald of Sir John A. Macdonald in Upper Tantallon has released a letter describing the “irreparable harm and trauma” inflicted upon “generations of Indigenous Peoples in Canada – still to this day” by the actions of Canada's first prime minister.
According to a press release from the school, Macdonald is “the architect of Canada’s Indian Residential School System” and responsible for “the
passage of the Indian Act of 1867”.
Our school takes pride in being a safe space for all students and staff. Our priority each and every day is to create an inclusive environment where everyone who passes through our doors feels welcome and knows, without question, that they belong. Our current name does not align with these values, nor does it reflect our school community. We pass no judgement on those who made decisions more than five decades ago, but the time to make a change is NOW.
Parents, staff,community members and approximately 1,000 students are invited to submit new names for the school. School names should consider the “geographic location or the local community” and the “cultural and racial diversity of [Halifax Regional Centre for Education]”.