EKEES Renaming: Building Understanding

EKEES Renaming: Building Understanding
Posted on 11/16/2021
Image of a wall of books and text ÉKEES Renaming

A significant part of the renaming process for École Kingston East Elementary School (EKEES) is helping students, families, staff and community members understand why the former name was harmful, why it was removed, and how to move forward to uphold our commitment to truth and reconciliation, and ensure we are creating safe spaces for everyone.

The Limestone District School Board Indigenous Education Team has created two videos – one for elementary-aged students, and one for intermediate and secondary students/adults/community members – that provides an overview of Sir John A. Macdonald’s legacy and the harms he imposed on Indigenous Peoples. Though Macdonald is certainly a significant figure in Canadian history, we must also acknowledge his role in establishing systems that continue to oppress Indigenous and other marginalized communities including residential schools. Residential schools were a systematic, government-sponsored attempt to assimilate Indigenous Peoples and destroy cultures and languages so that they no longer existed as distinct peoples.

For more information on Sir John A. Macdonald and the residential school system in particular, please visit any of the following resources:

This fact sheet was developed by the Social Healing and Reconciliatory Education (SHARE) group at the Faculty of Education at Queen’s University. It has been adapted with permission for LDSB.

teacher resource has also been developed to help classes further explore this issue with students through use of the videos and other activities.

The board encourages everyone who would like to suggest names for the school to first watch the videos to better understand the reason for the renaming. Next, from November 22 to 26, 
students, families, staff and community members will be invited to submit their suggestions and rationale for a new name via an online submission process. The Renaming Committee, which includes representation from students, families, staff and community members with a particular emphasis on ensuring the membership includes Indigenous Peoples and voices, will review all submissions and narrow the submissions to a short list.

Stakeholders will then be invited to submit their top three choices from among the short list in early 2022. The Renaming Committee will again review the feedback and select three to five names including rationale to submit to the Board of Trustees for consideration in the spring of 2022. The final choice rests solely with the Board of Trustees.

Those interested in understanding more about the renaming process may also wish to review Administrative Procedures 552: Naming/Renaming of Schools for further information.

Trustees of the Limestone District School Board voted unanimously to initiate a renaming process in June 2021. At the time, LDSB Board Chair Suzanne Ruttan said the Board acknowledges the ongoing pain and harm the former name had caused within Indigenous communities. “The Board is committed to selecting a new name that creates a more positive and equitable legacy for the school. This is part of the important work of Truth and Reconciliation.”