Letter: Keep the John A. Macdonald statue and add another with Indigenous programming – The Guardian

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Letter: Keep the John A. Macdonald statue and add another with Indigenous programming – The Guardian

by ahnationtalk on March 31, 202168 Views

Parts of the editorial about John A Macdonald (March 10) sent me searching for proof. Especially words like “racist, atrocities, shameful, children forced into schools and even killed there”. Yes, he used language we don’t today. But he also called the First Nation peoples “original owners of the soil, of which they have been dispossessed.” He initiated life-saving vaccinations on reserves. And when the buffalo population collapsed he set up a famine relief program, saying, “As Christians, as men with hearts … we must prevent them from starving.” He and some tribal leaders considered formal schooling important for successful Indigenous participation in Canadian life. But was it forced on them? How could Macdonald have known that in some schools deplorable things would happen? Or that some children would die of contagious diseases? (I found no evidence that any were killed.) Suggestions: keep John A’s statue and add another figure or further information, as Chief Bernard, Chief Gould and Sean Doke suggest. Add another bench downtown, depicting one or more of the remarkable Indigenous leaders, singers, poets, performers, educators, lawyers, politicians, businesspeople, etc. who have contributed to Canadian culture. Make available a basic introduction to the spoken and written Mi’kmaq language. (Possibly at community schools, senior college.) A half hour intro might be interesting to tourists too.

Read More: https://www.theguardian.pe.ca/opinion/local-perspectives/letter-keep-the-john-a-macdonald-statue-and-add-another-with-indigenous-programming-569880/

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