Not a pos­i­tive move to erase our past his­tory

Seaway News - - Opinion -

How many lead­ers can you name who have been per­fect? Mac­don­ald is widely re­garded as Canada’s great­est leader, whose im­age even graces our $10 bank note and many schools and build­ing are named af­ter him.

Our first prime min­is­ter was re­spon­si­ble for the transcon­ti­nen­tal rail­way. But, the former prime min­is­ter is also re­garded as the op­pres­sor of indige­nous people.

Mac­don­ald is re­ported to have once re­marked: “In­dian chil­dren should be with­drawn as much as is pos­si­ble from parental in­flu­ence, lest they ac­quire their habits…and should be placed where they will ac­quire the habits and modes of thought of white man.”

The de­ci­sion by Vic­to­ria city council has been dis­cussed and de­lib­er­ated for al­most a year. Not ev­ery­one on city council approved the mea­sure.

Just like Mac­don­ald was not solely re­spon­si­ble for be­ing branded as a leader of vi­o­lence against indige­nous peo­ples. This is 2018 and what was ac­cept­able in the past is not po­lit­i­cally cor­rect.

In comic books I read as a child, the In­di­ans or the Indige­nous people were al­ways por­trayed as sav­ages.

But, times have changed. I fully agree with this. To­day we talk about gen­der equal­ity and sup­port­ing ev­ery­one’s rights. This is called mov­ing ahead with the times and be­ing fair to ev­ery­one. We can­not and should not dis­crim­i­nate against any­one be­cause of gen­der or eth­nic ori­gin.

This is all fine. What I am is against eras­ing his­tory. Vic­to­ria city hall has also de­cided to in­stall a plaque that will de­tail the city’s path of rec­on­cil­i­a­tion with the Indige­nous people. Mac­don­ald, a lawyer, was born in Scot­land and im­mi­grated to Kingston, On­tario.

His po­lit­i­cal ca­reer spanned al­most half a cen­tury. Let us not for­get all the good things he did.

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