École Maple Elementary School was chosen as the new name for École Kingston East Elementary School (ÉKEES) by Trustees of the Limestone District School Board at a regular Board Meeting last night, Wednesday, May 18, 2022.
The new name was chosen from a list of four names provided to Trustees by the École Kingston East Elementary School (ÉKEES) Renaming Committee. According to a release from the Limestone District School Board (LDSB), the final four names – Butternut Creek, Forestview, Maple and Mapleview – were selected from a variety of suggestions provided through considerable consultation and work within the community.
According to the release, trustees voted unanimously to initiate a renaming process for the former École Sir John A. Mcdonald Elementary School in June 2021.
“The Board of Trustees acknowledges the ongoing pain and harm related to the use of that name within our school communities but particularly with Indigenous members,” said Board Chair Suzanne Ruttan. “A new name, I believe, is one step on the journey to truth and reconciliation.” She extended sincere appreciation on behalf of all Trustees to the members of the Renaming Committee for their diligence and commitment to the renaming process.
The naming process was overseen by the ÉKEES Renaming Committee which included student, parent/guardian, staff and Indigenous community representatives, the school board stated. The committee sought input from the school and the greater Kingston community through a year-long consultation, including three online community surveys, a week-long collection of student voice, and a Walking the Land and school tour for Trustees.
According to the release, the renaming process followed a process that was used in previous school naming processes but with an emphasis on how and why the former name was harmful, and what name attributes would respect and honour the Indigenous experience. The board’s Indigenous Education Team supported a significant and age-appropriate education component for ÉKEES Kindergarten to Grade 6 students during November 2021 which is also Indigenous Education Month in Limestone. Families and community members were also provided with an education component to support their understanding of the renaming process, the school board said. École Kingston East Elementary School, the interim name for the school, was the placeholder name used while the school was under construction.
With the new name decided, the school will now work on a redesign of the school logo, LDSB said. The Majors athletic crest and school colours of red and black will remain. According to the release, over the summer, the school’s exterior signage, web and social media accounts will be updated to be completed by September 2022.