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Our Namesake - Reconciliation Project

As a school community - and in partnership with Chief Kinosayo's family, St. Albert Public School Division, and Driftpile First Nation - we are committed to listening and learning about Chief Kinosayo, his stories, life and contributions to his people and our land now, and in the past.

Background of our reconciliation project:

In 2020, we started conversations about modernizing our school’s branding, which ultimately led to deeper discussions about our school namesake, his history and how we’re representing him. 

We realized that we didn’t have a solid knowledge of how and why we were named Keenooshayo Elementary School, and it felt disingenuous to create a logo, motto and mascot without knowing who Keenooshayo really was.

Learning about Chief Kinosayo:

In learning more about how our school was named we reached out to Driftpile First Nation, from whom we learned a great deal of information: 
  • Chief Kinosayo was a chief on what is now Treaty 8 lands.
  • He is known in history as a key member of both the signings of Treaty 6 and Treaty 8, and has connections to St. Albert.
  • Chief Kinosayo’s beliefs were about combining the traditional and the modern; the combining of two worlds; the need to constantly adapt.

Our truth and reconciliation journey:

We also learned that the spelling we currently have (Kee-Noo-Shay-Oo) seems to be a phonetic attempt at spelling his name, and is found in the government documents of the signing of Treaty 8.

We’re currently in the process of replacing our current spelling of his name to the correct spelling: Kinosayo. 

From here, our goal is to continue building relationships with the people of Treaty 8, and the Driftpile First Nation community. We hope to consult with them on a more permanent rebranding of our school in the upcoming years.
Kinosayo Elementary School