Downtown Toronto’s Ryerson University announced on Thursday that their academic institution would have a change of name.
This move results from the building pressure from students, staff, and other groups to rename the university so that it won’t be linked anymore to Canada’s residential school system.
The university, which was founded in 1948, is named after Egerton Ryerson, a key player in developing residential schools in the country. These residential schools were recently discovered not just to have robbed Indigenous children of their culture but were also the venues where a lot of abuse took place.
Earlier this year, the school was often referred to by staff and students as “University X.” Additionally, the campus protests became so heated that a statue of Ryerson was even spray-painted red and then toppled.
Through the Standing Strong (Mash Koh Wee Kah Pooh Win) Task Force, 11,000 of the university’s community members were surveyed regarding the possible replacement for the school’s name. The survey also gathered inputs on the next steps that will be taken concerning the issue at hand.
The responses were collated in a report that was submitted to the university’s Board of Governors.
Apart from increasing support for Black and Indigenous students, the report also suggested creating opportunities where students and other possible stakeholders can learn more about colonialism in Canada and Indigenous history.
In a written statement, university president Mohamed Lachemi encouraged all of the school’s community members to read the report “to learn more about where we have come from, where we are now, and how this report and its recommendations will guide us into a more inclusive future.”
There is still no word on the university’s new name or the specific time frame when it will be renamed.