Sir William Macdonald Elementary renamed Xpey’ Elementary

Media Release, Schools & Students

Sir William Macdonald Elementary has been renamed Xpey’ Elementary in recognition of its status as Vancouver School Board’s District Aboriginal Focus School.

Xpey’ means “cedar” in the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ language of the Musqueam people.

Listen: Elder Larry Grant of the Musqueam First Nation pronounces Xpey’

VSB began the renaming process two years ago. Following a request for suggestions from the public and school community, 33 different names were received. A renaming committee that included parent, school staff, community and district representatives reviewed the suggestions and a consensus was reached to recommend the school be named with the Musqueam word for “cedar cove” or “cedar”. Cedar Cove was the name of the original school built on the site.

The district wrote to Chief Wayne Sparrow and Musqueam council members requesting assistance with the new name and they provided Xpey’.

VSB official trustee Dianne Turner formally approved the name change at a meeting of the board on October 23, 2017.

“I’m pleased that the renaming committee recommended this name, which reflects both the Indigenous heritage and education history of the area,” said the official trustee after the meeting. “It is important for the District Aboriginal Focus School program that the school has an Indigenous name.”

The official trustee also agreed to a realignment of the school’s regular catchment area to reflect the phasing out of regular kindergarten to Grade 7 enrolment following development of the District Aboriginal Focus School program in 2012. The District Aboriginal Focus School program is unaffected by the change and continues to welcome students from across Vancouver.

This was the final meeting chaired by the official trustee prior to the inauguration of the new board on October 30.