The move towards permanently removing Prince Charles’ name from Creston’s high school has begun.
On June 15, the School District 8’s board of trustees unanimously voted and approved a motion to change the name.
For many, especially the Indigenous population in the Creston Valley, the name represents Canada’s oppressive history with colonialism.
“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.”
Local teacher Ki Louie originally brought the request forward, stating that the current name is offensive to the Yaqan Nukiy community, since it serves as a reminder of the trauma caused by residential schools.
Louie received tremendous support from students, other teachers, the Lower Kootenay Band, and other community members in the interests of reconciliation.
Since June, the school has been temporarily referred to as Creston Valley Secondary School (formerly Prince Charles Secondary School).
To decide on a new name, the public engagement process is now underway with an online survey posted on SD8’s website. Until Nov. 12, students, parents, and other residents are asked to share their thoughts by clicking on the survey link at sd8.bc.ca/public-engagement/creston-renaming. The public engagement process will also be documented and archived with all survey submissions, comments, and backgrounder information on this page.
Once the survey closes, virtual focus groups are scheduled to take place with local government and Indigenous leaders, the Parent Advisory Council, and the Creston Chamber of Commerce.
“The Board is committed to creating meaningful and inclusive engagement opportunities,” said 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.”
On Nov. 17, a virtual town hall will be held at 6 p.m. for further discussion on possible name choices. To RSVP, please email email@example.com.