An 89-year-old Regina elementary school could soon have a new name.
The Regina Public School Board will be voting on whether Davin School should be renamed “The Crescents School,” reflecting the neighbourhood it is in.
The school was originally named after Nicholas Flood Davin, a man who is known for laying the groundwork for residential schools.
The school board asked for the public’s feedback on the name change back in November. They said the December survey results were split right down the middle for those in favour and opposed to the idea of the name change.
A decision will be made at a school board meeting Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.
‘We get stuck in the past:’ former student calls for name change
Standing across the street from his former elementary school on the day before the vote, Simon Ash Moccasin reflected on why he hopes the name is changed.
While attending Davin School from Kindergarten to Grade 8, Moccasin said he never learned or understood the full history of the man his school was named for.
“Like most structures here in Regina, you don’t really know the history. I mean there’s two sides, three sides, four sides – so many sides to history, but we only hear one side,” Moccasin said.
It wasn’t until he went to University that he learned the significance of the Davin Report which led to the creation of the residential school system.
Moccasin said now is the time to make a change to give a voice to the people who had no voice for such a long time. He called it an important step towards healing.
“People say ‘Get over the past,’ well we can’t get over the past and the reason is because it keeps happening,” he said. “If we keep Davin on here and we only give like half the story, then what do we do here as a society? How do we evolve and move forward? We don’t, we get stuck in the past.”
Moccasin called for more public consultation, saying a survey put out by the school board didn’t go far enough. He would like to see more consultation with First Nations on a new name as well, noting the suggested name of “The Crescents School” has no meaning.
Moccasin said if the school board decides to keep the name it will only tell him there is more work to be done. When asked if adding more context to the historical plaques would be a compromise to changing the name, he said it would still pay tribute to a man responsible for the devastation caused by residential schools.
— With files from Adriana Christianson