Kamloops Discovery Sparks Colonial Statue Beheading At 'X University' in Toronto
June 21, 2021
TORONTO, Canada - When Indigenous students and professors last week heard that the head of a statue had come down-depicting their school's namesake, and simultaneously the genocide of Indigenous people in Canada's residential school system-they felt relief.
"It was a huge surprise, but a very pleasant surprise," said Eva Jewell, an Anishinaabe professor at Ryerson University. The university is named after Egerton Ryerson, a key architect of Canada's residential school system, which forced more than 150,000 First Nations, Inuit, and Métis youth into Indian boarding schools in an effort to assimilate them into settler culture.
At residential schools, children were neglected and abused, often to the point of death. "When I got the job at the university, I took the job knowing that it was a problematic name," Jewell said. "I was happy I was able to see justice in my time here."