UWindsor renames Macdonald Hall in recognition of Indigenous, Métis and Inuit communities

Outside the University of Windsor in Windsor, Ont. on Monday, May 31, 2021. (Michelle Malusle/CTV Windsor)

The University of Windsor is renaming of Macdonald Hall to Residence Hall West.

Officials say they acknowledge John A. Macdonald’s involvement and support of the residential school system and its negative impact on ethnic and racialized people, particularly the Indigenous, Métis and Inuit communities.

“The University of Windsor is committed to fostering an inclusive and welcoming environment that reflects the values we hold of enabling people to make a better world through education, scholarship, research and engagement,” said Dr. Robert Gordon, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Windsor.

In fall 2020, the Board of Governors established a committee to review the propriety of the name of Macdonald on a university residence following a petition launched by a University of Windsor alumnus.

The committee, comprised of students, faculty, staff, alumni, community members and the Head of Residence Services, met throughout the fall and winter and invited submissions and feedback from within and outside of the University community.

A summary of the 460 responses and recommendations was presented in a report to the Board of Governors, which voted to decommission and rename the building and erect a plaque noting the name change and rationale.

“The Board of Governors believes that reconciliation efforts with Indigenous communities and the protection of vulnerable populations on campus must be a priority. The former name of this residence is no longer consistent with our mission as an academic community, and its renaming, we believe, is a step forward in reimagining a campus where all are welcomed, acknowledged and included, ” said Jonathan Allison, Chair of the Board of Governors of the University of Windsor.