Edmonton High School Named After Revered Elder and Residential School Survivor, Dr. Francis Whiskeyjack

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Edmonton’s newest southeast public high school has been christened with the name of a respected elder and residential school survivor, heralded as a lifelong learner who has devoted his existence to the service of others. The esteemed honour of this recognition is bestowed upon Elder Dr. Francis Whiskeyjack.

An official announcement was made on a recent Tuesday afternoon by Edmonton Public Schools (EPSB), revealing the commendable decision to name the institution Elder Dr. Francis Whiskeyjack School. The honourable Dr. Whiskeyjack, presently an important advisor at amiskwaciy Academy and a respected elder with First Peoples’ House at the University of Alberta, has served as a contributing member of numerous community organizations. His remarkable profile includes associations with Alberta Health Services, MacEwan University, the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, and Concordia University.

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Expressing deep gratitude and humility, Dr. Whiskeyjack reflected on the significant transformation in his life journey. He stated, “It’s a representation of the positive transformation I have experienced, transforming from a survivor of a residential school to someone who can form and cement connections with people in ways that I could never have imagined.”

Among 353 names suggested for consideration, the school board ultimately selected Dr. Whiskeyjack’s. A celebrated member of the Saddle Lake Cree Nation, he has been an enduring mentor and champion for students in the city, said EPSB chair Trisha Estabrooks.

In her words, “It is genuinely an honour to dedicate this new high school to such an inspiring and accomplished individual. This gesture of naming the school in Dr. Whiskeyjack’s honour will bolster his message of empathy and inclusivity in the hearts of future generations.”

Taking its position near the intersection of 17 Street and 23 Avenue Northwest, adjacent to The Meadows Community Recreation Centre, Elder Dr. Francis Whiskeyjack School is set to open its doors to a new tomorrow in September 2024.