Cancel culture was picking apart Toronto’s Ryerson University one statue at a time and I can’t blame them. After it was made public that Egerton Ryerson was heavily involved in aiding the Canadian government in the development of the residential school system, Indigenous people and activists would not stand for the praising of this man. Over the course of 2021, there have been protests, sit ins, petitions to change the name of the school and even the tearing down of the Ryerson statue. After discovering 215 bodies of Indigenous children in B.C.’s Kamloops Indigenous Residential School, it was nearly impossible to hear the name “Ryerson” and not think of the horrors of the residential school system.
The University heard the people and actually recently announced they will be changing their name! Although the timeline was vague, the school intends to enter the 2022 September semester with their new and improved name. Wondering how they’re going to choose the new name? Join the club! There have been no details announced at this time regarding the renaming process but it has been said they are not taking the change lightly and will handle it with care.
A representative from the university said that, “In recognition of the harm the current university name causes members of our community, we are taking immediate steps to no longer commemorate Egerton Ryerson, and we will post an acknowledgement to the coming name change on our websites and with signage throughout the campus”
Instead of referring to the university as “Ryerson” over the next year, it would be a good idea to call it “University X” as many activists and Indigenous people have been doing. Rather than further commemorating Egerton Ryerson’s name it’s time to acknowledge his contribution to the assimilation and colonization of Indigenous people and work towards reconciliation in our everyday lives.