Regina’s Davin School is named after Nicholas Flood Davin, a man who wrote a report recommending residential schools for Indigenous youth.
Regina Public Schools announced Monday it has started an anonymous online consultation process regarding a name change.
The consideration comes after recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, along with calls for a change in April 2016.
Davin was a journalist, a lawyer, and an MP in the late 1800s.
In 1879, he was asked to determine if the American boarding school system would be appropriate for the Canadian Northwest.
The result was the “Report on Industrial Schools for Indians and Half-Breeds,” which has come to be known as the Davin Report.
The consultation ends Dec. 15. Regina Public Schools will then present recommendations Regina Board of Education that will make a decision by the end of the school year.
U of R education professors provide input
The University of Regina’s Faculty of Education says it believes the name should be changed to a more appropriate one.
In an online statement Monday, the faculty wrote it recognizes some people in the community feel Davin’s historic legacy may be in danger of being erased should the school receive a new name.
Given the history of the school – and the fact “Davin School” is engraved in large letters at the entrance – the faculty recommended mounting at the building’s entrance to provide information.
A recommendation by the faculty for what the plaque should say is as follows:
“This Elementary school was named to honour Nicholas Flood Davin from 1929-2017. Davin was a lawyer, journalist, politician and proponent of voting rights for women.
In 1879, at the request of Prime Minister Macdonald, Davin authored the Report on Industrial Schools for Indians and Half-breeds, advocating residential schools as institutions where children, removed from the “influence of the wigwam,” would receive “the care of the mother” and an education befitting a Canadian.
Tragically, they received neither. A 2015 Truth and Reconciliation Commission concluded the century-long system was a “cultural genocide”. Given Davin’s educational legacy, On this Day in 2018, through public consultation, the Regina Public School Board voted to officially hereby designate this school be named XX”
—With files from The Canadian Press.