In a statement emailed to Global News on Friday, PDSB said it heard the “increasing calls” to rename certain educational institutions, including Sir John A. Macdonald Sr. Public School.
“Consideration to change the name of the school, mascot or symbol, has occurred through a fair and inclusive process rooted in an understanding of settler colonization … and its impact on First Nations, Metis and Inuit Peoples,” the statement reads.
Similar calls have been made to rename schools and other buildings named after the country’s first prime minister over Macdonald’s involvement in establishing the residential school system.
According to the board, the decision to rename the school included consultation with the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Credit River Metis, the Peel Indigenous Network of Employees, the Indigenous Network and the Credit River Metis Council.
“The leadership of these stakeholders with the PDSB Indigenous Education team provided the history and cultural knowledge for PDSB school students, their families, school staff and the trustee to set the context for the name change,” the statement reads.
According to PDSB, current and former families were invited to participate in the discussions and were encouraged to ask questions and offer input into the proposed change.
The board said after “multiple meetings,” an agreement was reached to rename the school.
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The board said the decision was “in keeping with the Peel District School Board’s commitment to anti-racism, anti-oppression, truth and reconciliation.”
The PDSB said the school’s former name, logo and outdoor sign were removed on March 31.
The school’s gymnasium floor and walls were also repainted.
The board said it anticipates it will take two weeks to complete all changes, including digital documents. PDSB said a renaming ceremony will be held in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, the school will be temporarily be identified as ‘Centre Street School’, the board added.