After much debate and discussion within both the community and the Regina Public School Board, on Tuesday evening it was decided Davin School will be renamed The Crescents School.
The new name is to reflect the neighbourhood that surrounds the school, rather than the original, which honoured Nicholas Flood Davin.
Davin was a Regina journalist and politician who penned an 1879 report that laid the groundwork for residential schools, according to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Four out of six school board trustees voted in favour of the name change — one trustee voted against, while the other abstained.
“I think (the name change) shows that (the Regina Public School Board) is serious about doing whatever’s necessary to bring about that spirit of reconciliation and put action to words,” said school board chairperson Katherine Gagne after the vote.
She noted a new plaque is expected to be made over the summer to mark the decision and to add an educational piece to it. It’s still unclear whether the school’s original plaque, which outlines who Davin was, will remain.
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Meanwhile, as an Indigenous person who attended Davin School, Simon Ash-Moccasin said the name change is a win.
“Wow, I think it’s a long time coming,” he said. “I think when we admit the pasts of what happened here on Turtle Island, it’s a step forward for everybody, so I’m happy that the name changed. I think it shows that Regina is willing to move forward.”
However, when asked about the school’s new name, Ash-Moccasin said he wishes the school division would consider more consultation with Indigenous people to make it more representative of their culture.
“One thing that popped into my head is the closest community here, to Regina, is Piapot (First Nation), so Chief Piapot School,” he suggested.
But Gagne said school board discussions were had about whether to rename Davin School after an Indigenous person. After much talk, she said calling it The Crescents School was the final decision.
“I think that there was support among the board and our administration to keep it more defining of a geographical area, rather than … replacing one name with another,” she explained.
Gagne added the masonry work with Davin’s name will remain on the building, but by fall, a new sign reading “The Crescents School” will be there next to it.