The Greater Victoria School District is working alongside Songhees and Esquimalt Nation representatives to co-develop a process around naming schools.
The process is currently being established, to help pave the way for a new Lekwungen name for George Jay Elementary.
In 2020, the School District held a committee to review the name of George Jay Elementary following public consultation where the community expressed great interest in renaming the school.
The committee reviewed research and listened to the voices of community members, including George Jay staff and an Elders Advisory Council.
The outcome of the committee’s review recommended connecting with the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations to see if they would like to be involved in the process and if they would like to proceed with a Lekwungen name.
Both Nations expressed their interest and support in moving forward with a Lekwungen name for George Jay Elementary.
The vulnerability of this work requires trust and time on behalf of both Nations. By taking the time to rename an institution, we can begin a healing process for our children and families, who must deal with many barriers in a colonial education system on a day-to-day basis,” said Karen Dick-Tunkara, Councillor of the Songhees Nation.
“To honour those children whose voices were silenced, this is the first step toward revitalizing our culture, our history, and our Sacred Trust,” said Chief Robert Thomas, Esquimalt Nation.
Going forward, the work is anticipated to begin this spring as a new name for the school is expected to take shape in the 2023/24 school year.