Calgary School Board renames Langevin School to Riverside School following outcry – Calgary
Calgary’s Langevin School returns to its old nickname.
On Monday, the board of directors of the Calgary Board of Education (CBE) met and decided to revert the school’s name to Riverside School, effective immediately.
The school bears the name of the district until 1936, when CBE decided to rename it Hector-Louis Langevin.
Mayor Nenshi calls on Calgary school boards to change the names of Langevin and Bishop Grandin schools
“Due to the events of the past week or so and the revelation that has come out of Kamloops, the board issued a statement on Sunday and met yesterday to discuss the possibility of doing something quickly around the name of the school. Langevin. “Marilyn Dennis, chair of the board of directors of CBE, told Global News.
Dennis said the board has been working on a policy regarding the name and renaming of schools, adding “over the past few months we’ve been gaining a foothold with it, so to speak.”
Calgarians hold another vigil to mourn 215 children found dead in former residential school in British Columbia
The hope was that the policy would be completed so that it could be applied to the Langevin School name change, but the discovery of unmarked burial sites outside the Kamloops Indian Residential School prompted administrators to rename the school. school before the policy is over.
“We certainly heard from community members, students and families, that they wanted us to take leadership in this area, that they just wanted the name of the Langevin school to change,” Dennis said Tuesday. .
“And so we took this opportunity to reestablish the Riverside name in the hope that the return to the old name not only respects the history of the school, but also gives the opportunity, we hope, to school to move forward. in a positive way and create a new identity.
Calgary Mayor asks school boards to change names of Langevin and Bishop Grandin schools
The move also comes after a renewed call for both CBE School and Bishop Grandin High School in the Calgary Catholic School Division (CCSD) to be renamed after ground penetrating radar found the remains of 215 indigenous children.
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, who on Monday called on the two school boards to rename schools, said he was happy to see CBE take action.
Survivor wants southern Alberta residential school sites searched for human remains
“I’m sure their next steps will be to work with the Indigenous community to make sure it’s done right, to make sure that students, faculty and staff go through a process and a ceremony to make sure that this is fair, ”Nenshi told reporters on Tuesday. “The other thing I would suggest maybe Riverside School can be a temporary name, and there might be a better way to name the school to recognize the history.”
The TRC asked for $ 1.5 million to find mass graves in the residential schools. The federal government refused the money in 2009
In early 2017, Calgary City Council approved the name change of the Langevin Bridge to Bridge of Reconciliation, a change made in a ceremony on May 26, 2018.
Nenshi said the name of the bridge was “carefully chosen with the knowledge keepers”.
“A small step towards reconciliation”
New mortgage stress test rules come into effect. Here’s what you need to know
China reports world’s first human case of H10N3 avian influenza
The student members of the Change Langevin group heard about the school’s name change during a virtual assembly.
Joy McCullagh, a grade 8 student at Riverside School, said the decision “may be a small step towards reconciliation.”
“But it’s an important issue that I’m glad we worked on,” McCullagh told Global News. “I feel like it’s important for people to be educated about this. Before I started, I didn’t even know who my school was named after.
The group has been campaigning for the school’s name change shortly after the Langevin Bridge was renamed the Reconciliation Bridge in 2018.
“Disgrace”: Indigenous leaders castigate Catholic Church for silence on residential schools
Seth Helfenbaum said his classmates had mixed feelings about the announcement, but added that he had learned a valuable lesson.
“We have learned to never give up,” Helfenbaum said on Tuesday. “If someone stops him, don’t just give up.”
Michelle Robinson, niece of a residential school survivor and member of the Change Langevin group, praised the change in CBE.
“These are monsters who did that:” Says Kamloops Residential School survivor
“(CBE) was ultimately ashamed to change it,” Robinson told Global News. “I really think those at the grave spoke the loudest and that’s why they changed it. And I want to honor these 215 and the community they came from. “
Robinson questioned the CBE’s statement that the change was made based on community feedback.
“They have shown me that they are not listening to the voices of families, aboriginal and non-aboriginal.
She added that the public school board did not seem willing to show leadership on this issue of reconciliation.
“I don’t believe it’s something of the school trustee: leadership,” said Robinson. “I think it was a shame for the rest of the country that they were forced to (change the name of the Langevin school.)”
“Not a New Conversation” for the Catholic School Division
The mayor also said he spent part of Tuesday morning chatting with CCSD Board Chair Mary Martin for an update on the Bishop High School renaming process. Grandin.
“(CCDS) has been engaged for some time, for several months, in a respectful conversation with indigenous communities on the right way to move forward on this file,” said Nenshi. “They are committed to recognizing the role of faith in residential schools in history and to ensuring that students are educated for it, and to making sure they are doing it the right way.”
“It was not a new conversation for them,” added the mayor.
In a statement released on Monday, the CCSD said that “when it comes to renaming one or more CCSD schools, the board will take into account feedback from stakeholders such as parents, staff, students, etc. the Catholic bishops and the elders of our native community. . “
Dennis said the current board was not opposed to the school’s name change, but wanted to put the policy in place.
Canadian Mayors Call on Freeland for Direct Funding for Urban Indigenous Housing
“We have never opposed changing the name of the schools,” said the chairman of the board of the CBE. “But for us, the real work before that would be to come up with that element of policy and that element of procedure so that we can do it and do it in a way that is a good tool for the board, but also making it clear for the board. the public on what this process would look like.
These policy changes will be considered at a public board meeting later this month.
‘But it’s not like we don’t know’: Calgary mayor gives impassioned speech on residential schools
Nenshi said that despite the 13 years since Prime Minister Stephen Harper apologized for residential schools on behalf of the federal government and six years after the release of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s final report, “it would be rude to say: “too little, too late. ‘”
He suggested that this could be an opportunity to address the proposed provincial curriculum and how it addresses the legacy of residential schools.
Calgarians offer Indigenous prayers for healing after mass grave discovery in Kamloops
“At this point in history, we are fortunate to have the chance here, now, today to have an impact on the curriculum taught to children,” said Nenshi.
“If your heart has been broken this week, if you educate yourself, if you teach your children, it is also time to take political action and it is time to reach out to the provincial government and tell them to drop the program and start with something more respectful.
Experts say technology could find more residential school graves as survivors in Alberta share grief
Dennis estimated the cost of the name change to be around $ 40,000 and would come from the CBE’s budget. She also said the stories of people like Langevin will continue to be told, but the board is yet to get the details.
McCullagh doesn’t want Langevin’s legacy lost.
“I don’t think we should forget the name,” she said. “I think we should learn from what he did and learn about it.”
–With files from Adam MacVicar, Global News