We, the undersigned, suggest that Dundas Public School be renamed, following the TDSB’s newly-approved motion, “Renaming Schools Celebrating the Diversity of Toronto.”
Henry Dundas-- the historical figure after whom this school is named-- was a Scottish politician who delayed the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade in the British Empire by 15 years. Not only was this horribly unjust and devastating to numerous African people, families, and communities, but Dundas ended up being seen as a model leader for many years afterward.
Through this message, our goal is for our voices to be heard about this unfortunate issue and enforce that this should not continue in the future. As chief curator for the city of Toronto Museums and Heritage Services Wayne Reeves stated, “We want to keep in mind that changing these names is not about erasing history, but addressing how racism is systemically embedded in the city's urban landscape.'' It is time for us as citizens of Canada to start opening our eyes and acting on the underlying racism of today. As the new age arrives, we, as a society, should strive to embody respect, discover the truth, and embrace diversity, one school at a time.
Why is this important?
As students of Queen Alexandra Middle School and members of the community (which is the neighbouring institute of Dundas Public School), we firmly believe that Henry Dundas is not an appropriate representative of our community. By continuing to honour his memory, we celebrate histories of colonialism and enslavement that conflict with our shared values of tolerance and inclusion. Further, the name doesn’t reflect the diverse populations that make up our student bodies.
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