The request to change the name of an elementary school in Winnipeg was first issued near the end of last year.
Since then, the process has picked up speed as the Winnipeg School Division’s board of trustees approved a change to its naming policy. This would allow for a name change to take place down the line.
Tamara Kuly, board chair, said the board was approached by the Wolseley School after its parent advisory council put in the request. With the change in the naming policy now in place, she said the next step would be to engage in community consultations.
“We rely on community consultations and that is the next step — to engage with the community, to help identify and define what that (new) name would be,” Kuly said. “We set the process. Now there’s actually steps in place for folks … to follow.”
She added that following the consultations, the request is brought back to the board with the name recommendations, which is then voted or approved on. She further noted that the board is supportive of this “community-driven” request.
“(The board and I) do support community reviewing these. And ensuring that the school community is involved with that process. That the … name does reflect the community,” Kuly said.
Earlier calls for renaming the school and the street it is located on, Wolseley Avenue, were made in 2020. At the time, a petition made the rounds calling for the renaming to honour Metis people.
As per the petition, the name bore the moniker of Garnet Wolseley, a 19th-century military leader. It stated that Wolseley “incited anti-Indigenous racism among the 1,400 soldiers he commanded, white men who unleashed a racist reign of terror — including serial rape and lynching.”
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