Gidgalang Kuuyas Naay, new name for secondary school

Reconciliation was the foundation for a motion to officially change the name of the Queen Charlotte Secondary School.

 

Reconciliation was the foundation for a motion to officially change the name of the Queen Charlotte Secondary School.

“I think in the emotion of reconciliation, this would be the right thing to do,” Kim Goetzinger told school board trustees.

She said the Truth and Reconciliation Commission documents had inspired her with their recommendations toward indigenous language and culture.

“There was a lot to do with Indigenous language and culture and how if those recommendations were followed how that would help to sooth those survivors of residential schools, today. There are several of us that are still affected by residential schools,” Goetzinger said

Gidgalang Kuuyas Naay means “precious children” in Haida, and will be the new name for the secondary school in Queen Charlotte.

“It was done legally in Haida Law and the Haida Law amongst  the Haida Nation is the highest form of law. It was done respectfully a few years back, the name Queen Charlotte was given back, respectfully, to the government and our name is now Haida Gwaii, legally,” Goetzinger explained.

“I think I can speak for both communities when I say this is a good idea, it really is.”

The school board trustees voted unanimously for the name change to be ratified.

The name change will come into effect Sept. 1, 2016, depending on the ministry.

Superintendent Angus Wilson told the board that he has reached out to the Ministry of  Education inquiring about the name change process for the school. Wilson told the board that this process is much simpler than the process they had to go through to change the name of the district.

Deavlan Bradley, principal at the soon-to-be Gidgalang Kuuyas Naay, welcomes the change o name and doesn’t anticipate much, if any transition for the student body.

Trustee Denise Husband had asked for some student consultation but was told by Goetzinger that they went through the  process during the legacy pole -raising feast, last school year.