City of Edmonton voted unanimously to change name of inner city school

The Edmonton Public School Board voted unanimously Tuesday afternoon to rename Prince Charles Elementary School on the city’s north side.

The majority of students attending the school are First Nations, Metis or Inuit. It offers the Awasis language and culture program, which serves the needs of the Indigenous students.

EPSB Trustee Shelagh Dunn put forward the motion to rename the school after hearing from students, staff, and community members.

“They have been saying that the current name reflects the colonization history of Canada, and they’re requesting a name that really just honors the students in the building, the families who’ve chosen the school, and the work of the programming in the school,” Dunn said.

Dunn’s motion included the need to center the voices of the students, families and staff in the renaming process – as well as relevant Elders and Knowledge Keepers in the community.

A motion also passed Tuesday afternoon to create a committee to inform a future renaming policy.

That motion was proposed by board Chair Trisha Estabrooks, who called it a step towards becoming a more anti-racist school board.

As this was the last meeting of the current board, the committee and new naming policy will be decided on by the new board after the October election. The committee will consist of students, staff, parents and community members who will eventually be tasked with reviewing all existing school names.

“For every renaming conversation that’s happening across the city, across the province, across the country, there’s some humility involved,” Dunn said. “I think that’s a really good thing. So my hope is that we can embrace the hope and humility.”

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