Singling out Gen. Amherst
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