Ryerson University’s board of directors has voted to change the Toronto school’s name over concerns about the man the institution is named for and his links to Canada’s residential schools.
In a post on the school’s website Thursday, president and vice-chancellor Mohamed Lachemi announced the change is forthcoming as part of 22 recommendations made by the university’s Standing Strong (Mash Koh Wee Kah Pooh Win) Task Force. The body ultimately made 22 recommendations after receiving submissions and feedback from more than 11,000 community members. The board of governors confirmed all of those recommendations would be adopted.
“For over a decade, students, faculty, staff and community activists — particularly Indigenous and Black community members — have completed paid and unpaid research on, and raised awareness about, [Egerton Ryerson’s life and legacy as well as the role of commemoration in the community]. They have also mobilized the community to participate in conversation about the ongoing trauma and pain caused by the commemoration of colonial figures,” the task force’s report said.
“Our report recognizes the harm that has been caused by the university’s failure to prioritize historical research and meaningful community engagement about Egerton Ryerson’s work and legacy.” A statement released on Thursday by Lachemi thanked the task force members as well as those who submitted feedback.
“The report provides clear recommendations on how the university can move forward and write the next chapter in our history,” he wrote. “I assure our community that a process will be put in place to ensure that the recommendations are carried out in an equitable, transparent, inclusive and timely manner.”
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: POST MILLENNIAL