Friday, November 5th, 2021
What's in a name?
Many schools throughout the province are named for geographic markers, municipalities or community names, or after people. And when it comes to schools named after people in B.C., the broadest categories include Settler Pioneers, former School Board Trustees, Notable Britons and Politicians.
Further, there is a disproportionate share of colonial school names that arose from the mindset of political leaders in the early 20th century. This occurred during a time when population was booming and many schools were being built, thus needing to be named.
On June 15th, 2021 the SD8 Kootenay Lake School Board unanimously voted to approve the motion for the removal of the name “Prince Charles” from the Creston highschool’s name. The motion was submitted to the board on behalf of the community and included input from students, teachers, and parents in the interests of reconciliation.
“This change of name for our school does not cancel the past histories, experiences or artifacts from our time as present and former students, but rather moves us forward together with a new identity of hope” said principal Brian Hamm, “Our commitment is that this is the first step of many, towards decolonizing education for our students.”
Since June, the school has been temporarily referred to as Creston Valley Secondary School. A public engagement process is now underway to decide on a new name for the region’s secondary school. An online survey will be posted on the district website until November 12th, inviting students, parents, staff and the community to share their voice.
Virtual focus groups are scheduled thereafter, with local government, Indigenous leaders, PAC and the Creston Chamber of Commerce. “The Board is committed to creating meaningful and inclusive engagement opportunities,” says Lenora Trenaman, Board Chair, “We trustees, and senior district leaders want to hear directly from our community partners on what their view is with regards to the renaming.”
Finally, a virtual town hall is scheduled for November 17th, 2021 at 6:00 to engage with interested members of the community on possible name choices. To RSVP for the town hall, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To adequately document and archive this public engagement process, all survey submissions, comments and backgrounder information will be posted publicly on the district website: sd8.bc.ca/public-engagement/creston-renaming
For more information:
Brian Hamm – Principal Creston Valley Secondary School
About The Board of Education of School District No. 8 (Kootenay Lake):
The Board of Education of School District No. 8 provides educational services to numerous diverse communities in the East & West Kootenays, including Crawford Bay, Creston, Kaslo, Meadow Creek, Nelson, Salmo, Slocan, South Slocan, Winlaw, Wynndel and Yahk. Its dedicated team focuses on providing the best possible educational opportunities for over 5,400 students and their families. Its mission is to focus on excellence for all learners in a nurturing environment.