A statue of Prime Minister John A. Macdonald was taken down at a park in his hometown of Kingston, Ontario on Friday. A local school that was named after Macdonald is also set to be revised.
This week, Kingston’s city council made the decision to remove the statue of Canada’s first president from the city park. It will likely be transported to Kingston Cataraqui Cemetery. That is where Macdonald is buried.
Macdonald is considered to be one of the people the person who orchestrated the residential school system that took Indigenous children from their families in an effort to integrate them into normal Canadian life. Bryan Patterson — Mayor of Kingston — says that it wasn’t an easy decision to remove the statue. John A Macdonald’s legacy is a complicated one that divides the people of Kingston. But Patterson recognizes the pain in which the statue causes the Indigenous community.
Along with the statue of Macdonald, calls to alter the name of a local school had also grown in recent years. The calls resurfaced when the Tk’emplups te Secwepemc Nation discovered the remains of 215 Indigenous children last month.
Kingston’s city council plan to make the adjustment to the school’s name in September. Meanwhile, the local school named after Macdonald will be known as Ecole Kingston East Elementary School in the interim.
The final report from the National Truth and Reconciliation Commission states how mistreated the Indigenous community were in residential schools. It includes the following: emotional, physical, and sexual abuse. Additionally, more than 4,000 deaths happened in the institution.