Teachers' union wants John A. Macdonald schools renamed - Macleans.ca

Teachers’ union wants John A. Macdonald schools renamed

Ontario elementary teachers’ union motion says Macdonald was “architect of genocide against Indigenous Peoples”

Sir John A. Macdonald.  (1815-1891)   National Archives of Canada/CP

Sir John A. Macdonald. (1815-1891) National Archives of Canada/CP

TORONTO – The union representing Ontario’s public elementary school teachers wants the name of Canada’s first prime minister to be removed from schools in the province.

The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario passed a motion at its annual meeting last week calling on all school districts in Ontario to rename schools and buildings named after Sir John A. Macdonald.

The union says it wants the name change because of what it calls Macdonald’s role as the “architect of genocide against Indigenous Peoples.”

Macdonald was prime minister during the time the federal government approved the first residential schools in the country.

The ETFO’s call comes after a student-led campaign at Toronto’s Ryerson University last month pushed for the school to change its name out of respect for residential school survivors.

The downtown university is named for Egerton Ryerson, a pioneer of public education in Ontario who is widely believed to have helped shape residential school policy through his ideas on education for Indigenous children.

And in June, the name of founding father Hector-Louis Langevin was stripped from the building that houses the Prime Minister’s Office on Parliament Hill. Langevin argued for a separate school system with a specific mandate to assimilate Indigenous children.

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Teachers’ union wants John A. Macdonald schools renamed

  1. “Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.”

  2. Perhaps if the Establishment hadn’t lied to people in the first place in an effort to whitewash history……..

  3. Pierre Trudeau invoked the War Measures Act, when he knew there was no danger, and violated the rights of thousands of people. Time to get rid of the Trudeau name.

    The Famous Five and Tommy Douglas where advocated for eugenics. Time to erase them also.

    • The War Measures Act was all we had at the time…..and murder wasn’t ‘no danger’

      You’ll not we have had no ‘terror’ since.

      People advocated for eugenics……and to this day don’t now t know what it is

  4. Yes, go ahead, and may the next generation erase all the accomplishments that you’ve celebrated in your lifetime, such as the wacky notion that everything has to be fixed since something that was celebrated 100 years ago offends your righteousness. In a hundred years you will probably all be viewed as heretics and traitors and they’ll be tearing down your statues. What a bunch of fools.