ryerson name change

Ryerson University is officially going to change its name

Ryerson University has decided that it will indeed change its name in the midst of ongoing calls that it do so because of its namesake's ties to Canada's residential schools.

Egerton Ryerson, after which the post-secondary institution was founded in 1948, had a hand in the design of not just our public school system, but the system that tore Indigenous children from their families and forced them into schools where they were abused mentally, physically, emotionally, and worse.

As we have all come to know in recent weeks, the remains of thousands of children have also been discovered in unmarked graves on the sites of former residential schools across the nation.

In the wake of multiple sit-ins and other demonstrations on the campus, as well as the dramatic and cathartic removal of Ryerson's statue by protesters earlier this summer, many students and staff have been referring to the school simply as "University X" until a more suitable moniker is instated.

Journalism student publications the Ryersonian and the Ryerson Review of Journalism also vowed to change their titles earlier this year due to how deeply problematic the historical figure is.

He was also, as numerous petitions note, "a known racist and sexist" in general, as many important white men in history have unfortunately proven to be.

Ryerson's Board of Governors approved all 22 recommendations from the Standing Strong (Mash Koh Wee Kah Pooh Win) Task Force at a meeting on Wednesday before the school's president and vice-chancellor announced this latest major move Thursday afternoon.

Aside from the obvious renaming, recommendations from the group include that the institution share materials to educate students on the full legacy of Egerton Ryerson, that it change how it goes about commemorating historical figures, and that it ensure all academic programs it offers contain content about Indigenous history, particularly Indigenous-colonial relations.

Lead photo by

@wyliepoon


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