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Board announces series of public meetings on naming replacement of Kelly Road school

Tim Bennett is seeking re-election to the School District Board of Education October 20.
School board chair Tim Bennett

The School District 57 board of education has set dates for a series of public meeting regarding its upcoming decision on how to incorporate the name Shas Ti into the new school building in the Hart replacing the old Kelly Road Senior Secondary.

Board chair Tim Bennett maintains a final decision on what to name the new school, set to open in September, has not yet been made.

“No decision has been made as to what the final outcome is going to be,” he said Thursday. “We have an obligation to listen to the public and hear thoughts and concerns and, as a board, we’ll need to bring a recommendation forward to (the board’s) April 28 meeting.”

Whatever the school is named, the goal is to have the new name reflect the indigenous and non-indigenous history of the area and school.

“The board of education has made a commitment to truth and reconciliation and supporting the work of UNDRIP and that has been the process that we’ve been going through,” he said. “It’s looking at having that community conversation of how do we preserve the history that is Kelly Road Secondary and how do we honour our commitment to truth and reconciliation and UNDRIP.

“We acknowledge the frustration that the community is feeling and we, as a board, are committed to moving forward positively with our community.”

The process getting underway was developed by the engagement process working group, struck by the board following the February motion to start the process of renaming the school. Information will be formally collected through a questionnaire and a series of face-to-face meetings conducted in a roundtable-style format.

Dates and locations of public engagement sessions are as follows:

  • April 1 – Hart Community (Location TBD)
  • April 5 – Hart Community (Location TBD)
  • April 6 – Hart Community (Location TBD)
  • April 15 – House of Ancestors

“We have our commitment to an authentic process,” Bennett said. “We need to allow this process to play out … The board will need to make a decision, one way or another, that will hopefully both honour the history of Kelly Road and our commitment to truth and reconciliation and Lheidli T’enneh.”

The online questionnaire will be available from March 20 to April 17.

“We will carefully consider all of the information gathered, both through the emails and messages we’ve received, and the information that will be presented during the working sessions,” said Bennett. “A final decision will be made by the board.”

Updates will be available on the School District No. 57 website (sd57.bc.ca), SD 57 social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter) and through a subscription-based newsletter individuals can opt to receive by making a request through a link on the School District No. 57 website.

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