Poor record on treatment
Re Singling out Gen. Amherst, The Guardian (August 7):
I’m curious. Does letter-writer Earle Lockerby actually know the history of British General Jeffrey Amherst and his capture of Fort Louisbourg and Montreal and his subsequent treatment of Canada’s First Peoples? I ask because it’s not easy to find out.
I’ve tried. What we do know is that he held an extremely poor view of Canada’s Aboriginal inhabitants and that Amherst cancelled the important ceremonial tradition of gift-giving with respect to Indigenous peoples.
Secondly, the problem with his argument about ignoring Amherst and focusing more broadly on improving Canada’s treatment of First Nations is that we have such a poor record on that score to date. We need to get beyond this continuing colonial mindset.
Can Mr. Lockerby point to some area where substantial progress — other than arguably at the Supreme Court of Canada level — has been made on breaking the colonial shackles? Oh, how about the Mill River golf resort land dispute? Would Mr. Lockerby support the Mi’kmaq claim that it is unceded, ancestral territory — and thus belongs to them?
Peter McKenna, Professor and Chair, Department of Political Science, University of Prince Edward Island