Statement on Ryerson University Name Change
ONWA strongly applauds Ryerson University’s decision on Thursday, August 26, to change its name, based on the recommendations of the Standing Strong (Mash Koh Wee Kah Pooh Win) Task Force, established in November 2020. This is a positive step by the university to extricate itself from the colonial legacy of Egerton Ryerson, who played a key role in advancing the residential school system. The name change is also an important step in acknowledging the ongoing damaging effects of symbolism associated with colonialism for Indigenous peoples.
ONWA also celebrates the Ryerson Board of Governors’ decision to adopt all 22 of the Task Force’s recommendations from the final report, including the determination to not restore or replace the Egerton Ryerson statue that had been damaged in June 2021.
ONWA recognizes Ryerson University’s actions as a positive step to advancing reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.
All public institutions should follow suit and take the necessary steps to learn from our collective history and join us in renouncing a harmful colonial past by taking full responsibility.