A Calgary school named after Hector Louis Langevin, an architect of residential schools has been renamed Riverside School effective immediately.
For years, a committee spearheaded by non-Indigenous allies, has been asking the Calgary Board of Education (CBE) to change the name, but have been turned down.
“My hope is, is that the teachers, the students, and the parents of the students, the community and I think all of Canada now understand the gravity of what we’re talking about when we talk about truth and reconciliation,” said Michelle Robinson of the committee.
“This weekend we’re having a lot of Indigenous feeling traumatized by the news coming out.”
The findings of 215 children in Kamloops was the tipping point of the name change.
In a statement, the CBE said, “The tragic discovery in Kamloops and the reaction shared by Canadians has emphasized the importance of reconciliation.
“It’s exactly the right time to do it,” said Cat Schick, a non-Indigenous ally and member of the renaming committee.
“To show the public that there are people here that care about reconciliation, that care about survivors and victims of residential schools and care that our institutions are named after people who actually promoted this horrible institution.”
Riverside school is the building’s original name, before being changed to Langevin. The CBE said it will be considering changes to policies regarding renaming at a meeting later this month.
The name Langevin has been dropping off various buildings and bridges across the country.
In Calgary, a bridge was renamed and in Ottawa, the Prime Minister’s Office had the name stripped from its front doors after three Indigenous MPs requested that it be changed.