Canada’s Ryerson University said that it will not restore or replace the toppled statue of Egerton Ryerson outside the varsity that bears his name after students and professors demanded to rename it to”X University” instead of Ryerson.
Ryerson, a Methodist minister, was believed to be one of the key designers of the notorious indigenous residential school system in Canada, reports Xinhua news agency.
In a statement issued Monday, Ryerson University President Mohamed Lachemi said the statue “will not be restored or replaced”.
The statue was toppled on Sunday evening after hundreds of people rallied in Toronto in honour of the 215 children buried at the Kamloops Indian Residential School site in Kamloops city, British Columbia province.
A video posted on Twitter showed what appeared to be a rope tied to the statue and people cheering as it came tumbling down.
Last week, the statue was reportedly splattered with red paint.
In a statement posted on Twitter before the statue was pulled down, the University said: “We share in the grief and sorrow of our community at the discovery of the remains of 215 Indigenous children, and acknowledge that further and ongoing reconciliation is of vital importance.”
“It’s important this statue has come down so we can raise awareness to what has been going on since the 1800s and the incorporation of the residential school system,” Craig St. Denis, a Cree whose grandfather was a survivor of the residential school system, told CBC News on Monday.
Distance Fernando, a student at Sheridan College in Toronto, said the statue should have come down a long time ago.
“The statue represents racism, the statue represents oppression. It should have been taken down a long time ago voluntarily by the Ryerson University. ”
Some students, professors and university groups have already demanded to rename the university from Ryerson to X University and to stop using the name in their email signatures, correspondence and on their resumes.
Last week, Ontario provincial legislature opted to move a painting and bust of Ryerson.