Sin­gling out Gen. Amherst

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - EDITORIAL -

I agree with much of Mr. Peter Bland­ing’s piece (Au­gust 3). How­ever, I wish to cor­rect one point. Gen­eral Amherst’s com­ments did not re­late to in­dige­nous peo­ple on “this is­land” or any­where in what is now Canada. They re­lated to Shawnee and Delaware peo­ples in Penn­syl­va­nia. Al­though this does not lessen the grievous­ness of his com­ments, we should get our facts straight.

We should also rec­og­nize that the at­ti­tudes of many colo­nial mil­i­tary of­fi­cials, and of­ten po­lit­i­cal fig­ures, in Amherst’s time re­gard­ing in­dige­nous peo­ples were not greatly dif­fer­ent than those of Amherst.

Gen­eral James Wolfe, for ex­am­ple, is known to have made scathing com­ments to his men about Mi’kmaq peo­ple shortly be­fore the siege of Louis­bourg. Would it not make more sense to re­name Cape Wolfe be­cause of James Wolfe’s com­ments made in neigh­bour­ing Nova Sco­tia about the Mi’kmaq than to re­name Fort Amherst be­cause of com­ments that did not in­volve the Mi’kmaq and were made in a dif­fer­ent coun­try?

Wolfe’s Cove at Que­bec evokes the mem­ory of Gen­eral James Wolfe who per­ma­nently changed the com­plex­ion of Canada.

In­dige­nous peo­ple played a sub­stan­tial role in the Bat­tle of the Plains of Abra­ham, yet their in­ter­ests were com­pletely ig­nored in the terms of sur­ren­der and in the en­su­ing peace treaty.

Why is Amherst ar­bi­trar­ily sin­gled out and why a “mi­cro-view” of his­tory rather than the broad pic­ture?

Mr. Bland­ing iden­ti­fies le­git­i­mate ar­eas in which Canada needs to do much bet­ter in its treat­ment of in­dige­nous peo­ples.

Let’s move for­ward with these.

Earle Lockerby, Darn­ley

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