New Fort Erie Elementary School Name Honours Renowned Aboriginal Leader

 Courage, integrity and perseverance are just a few of the character traits embodied in the new west Fort Erie school name. On Tuesday, October 27, Trustees of the Board voted to name the school, “John Brant Public School.”

“John Brant is an important historical figure, and the life he lived will serve as an inspiration to students,” said Dave Schaubel, Trustee for Fort Erie/Port Colborne. “With this new name, I look forward to seeing the school culture develop as students collaborate on other important markers for the school identity, such as a new mascot.”

DSBN Director of Education Warren Hoshizaki agreed that John Brant was a fitting choice for the new school name. “This is significant as this will be the first school in the DSBN to honour an Aboriginal figure,” said Hoshizaki.

The Trustees’ vote was the culmination of a month long process to name the school. Students, staff and the public were all invited to submit suggestions for the name. Showing the great amount of enthusiasm for the new school, over 200 suggestions were received. A naming committee made up of local students, parents, staff and community members narrowed the list to three names, which were presented to Trustees.  

JoAnna Roberto, Superintendent of Education, credited the naming committee for working in a positive and collaborative fashion to create the final list for Trustees to choose from. “Everyone came into this process with an open mind and a desire to find an appropriate name that students can be proud of.”

Born in 1794, in what’s now known as Brantford, John Brant played a significant role in the War of 1812. At the age of 18, Brant and John Norton led the Mohawk in the Battle of Queenston Heights. Following the war, Brant worked tirelessly to secure Six Nations’ land rights and have the British provide the Six Nations with deeds to their lands. John Brant was elected to the Upper Canada Legislative assembly in 1830, becoming the first Aboriginal member of the Upper Canada assembly.

Currently under construction at the former Ridgeway Public School site, John Brant Public School will open its doors to students for the first time in September, 2016. John Brant will bring together the populations of Bertie, Ridgeway and Crystal Beach Public Schools.