Name change a good place to start
Re: “A slippery slope,” (The Guardian, July 18): I think that Earle Lockerby is on the wrong side of history on this one. In addition, the argument that if you change the historically suspect name of one fort, you have to change them all is pretty lame. No one is suggesting removing Jeffrey Amherst from everything or revising history.
What many are suggesting, however, is that we try to make things right with our First Peoples. And since Lockerby admits that reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples is long overdue, he shouldn’t have any problem with what is contained in the 2015 Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s final report. It points out that reconciliation is about “establishing and maintaining respectful relationships.” Clearly, retaining the name Fort Amherst is disrespectful to the Mi’kmaq.
The report also goes on to state plainly: “A critical part of this process [of reconciliation] involves repairing damaged trust by making apologies, providing individual and collective reparations, and following through with concrete actions that demonstrate real societal change.” Surely, removing Amherst’s name is a good place for change to start.
Peter McKenna, professor and chair, department of political science, University of Prince Edward Island