Regina votes on possible name change for Davin School

It’s time for the public to have its say on a possible name change for Davin School in Regina.

87-year-old school named after man involved in creating residential schools

Davin School, located in Regina's Crescents neighbourhood, opened in 1929. It may be getting a new name. (Google Street View)

It's time for the public to have its say on a possible name change for Davin School in Regina.

In September, the board for Regina Public Schools opted to throw the decision out to members of the public through an online consultation process, which officially began Monday.

The elementary school, named after Nicholas Flood Davin, has stood in the city's Crescents neighbourhood for 87 years.

The Regina journalist and politician is known for writing an influential report in 1879 that led to the creation of Canada's residential school system.
Nicholas Flood Davin is known as the author of the Davin Report, which led to the establishment of Canada's residential school system. (Library and Archives Canada)

In the 19th and 20th centuries, Indigenous children were removed from their homes and forced to give up their language and culture. Thousands of those students were physically and sexually abused, including many from Saskatchewan.

After the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report was released, the community and the board began discussing whether the school's name was appropriate.

Besides this, a plaque drawing attention to Davin's role in the residential school system was recently added to his grave in Ottawa's Beechwood Cemetery.

In April 2016, Greg Enion, the director of education for Regina Public Schools, described the Davin Report as "a very negative part of our history," but he also said a potential name change would be a long process.

U of R education faculty calls for name change

The University of Regina's Faculty of Education released a statement calling Davin's educational legacy "one of cultural genocide" and says continuing to honour that legacy with a school name could negatively impact students as well as the broader community. 

So, it "recommends the school name be changed to a more appropriate one for a school through public consultation and input in order to choose a new name."

The online consultation will be open from Nov. 6 to Dec. 15.

Regina Public Schools will present recommendations to the Regina Board of Education following the consultation. The school board plans to make its final decision by June 2018.