Born on 2,500 acres of Indigenous land, the university’s namesake ended up taking nearly everything from them.
This story is part of Monumental Challenges, a series looking at Ryerson, reconciliation, and the issues surrounding replacing names and monuments.
Ryerson was a key architect of the residential school system — a fact some may not know. We look at the history of the university’s namesake, and why people want the statue removed. Behind the beatific statue of the educator stands the legacy of a Christian extremist blinded by feelings of superiority towards Indigenous people and a desire to spread white ‘civilization.’
Toronto and Ryerson University are in the “Dish With One Spoon Territory.” The Dish With One Spoon is a treaty between the Anishinaabe, Mississaugas and Haudenosaunee that bound them to share the territory and protect the land. Subsequent Indigenous Nations and peoples, Europeans and all newcomers, have been invited into this treaty in the spirit of peace, friendship and respect.