People impacted by Canada’s shameful legacy of residential schools, or those triggered by the latest news cycle, are invited to contact the Indian Residential School Survivors Society toll-free at 1-800-721-0066. Emotional support and crisis service referrals are available through the 24-hour national crisis line at 1-866-925-4419.

PHOTO CAPTION: Edited image of Ryerson's statue with an image of Ryerson in the background. Both source images courtesy of Wikipedia. Edited by We Rep STEM.

Officials at Toronto’s Ryerson University said a campus statue of Egerton Ryerson “will not be restored or replaced” following a Sunday protest that saw the monument toppled. Ryerson is considered one of the founders of Canada’s residential school system, an abusive and racist institution that forcibly removed Indigenous children from their homes in an attempt to “assimilate” them into western culture.

Residential schools operated in Canada for more than two centuries, causing widespread, generational trauma. The recent discovery of the remains of 215 Indigenous children who attended a residential school in Kamloops, B.C. has sparked renewed calls from faculty and students to remove Ryerson’s statue and change the name of the university.

More than 1,000 people attended Sunday’s peaceful rally, Mohamed Lachemi, Ryerson President and Vice-Chancellor said in a statement.  About an hour after the crowd dispersed, a truck arrived, and its occupants proceeded to take down the statue. No injuries were reported.

“Our community holds diverse views on many topics, including the name of our institution. At our core, this is what universities are all about: we are a place where difficult subjects are discussed, attitudes are challenged, and alternatives are suggested and considered,” Lachemi continued.

“This often involves demonstrations and civil protest – and the university will always make space for this. I believe the way to move forward on sensitive, contentious topics is by being consultative, inclusive, respectful, and thorough.”

In response to the Kamloops discovery, Indigenous attending Ryerson asked peers and instructors to remove the name ‘Ryerson’ from email signatures and resumes and call the school X University.