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The minister accountable for Parks Canada says tearing down statues will not be the answer with regards to addressing the darker facet of Canadian historical past.
Environment Minister Catherine McKenna has requested the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada to have a look at the right way to tackle considerations with historic figures like Sir John A. Macdonald, whose position in establishing residential faculties has made him a polarizing determine in reconciliation efforts with Indigenous Peoples.
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“I’ve tasked them to look at how do you have a thoughtful way with addressing concerns with certain people in our history, but you can’t erase history,” McKenna stated.
“I personally believe that it’s important that we recognize our history – the good and bad – and that we tell stories, because it’s by telling stories we recognize that we can do better.”
WATCH BELOW: Debate continues over the right way to bear in mind Sir John A. Macdonald
One choice could also be to erect a second statue or monument subsequent to a controversial determine to symbolize Indigenous historical past at a specific web site, she advised.
McKenna’s perspective appears in line with the advice of Sen. Murray Sinclair, the previous chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, who has advised that tearing down statues is “counterproductive” to reconciliation as a result of it “smacks of revenge.”
COMMENTARY: Blaming John A. for residential faculties is simpler than accepting that’s how we have been
Sinclair’s desire is for Canada to seek out extra methods to acknowledge and honour Indigenous historical past and Indigenous peoples.
He was unavailable for an interview, however his spokeswoman stated his considering on the matter has not modified.
The challenge of tearing down statues has been a sizzling matter this week after the Victoria metropolis council voted to take away a statue of Macdonald from the steps of metropolis corridor and is now contemplating the place to place it.
WATCH BELOW: Should the City of Kingston distance itself from the ‘Sir John A’ model?
Macdonald, Canada’s first prime minister, is the person who commissioned residential faculties, which over the course of greater than a century sought to assimilate Indigenous kids, forcing them to attend faculties usually 1000’s of miles from house.
The faculties have been run by the church buildings on behalf of the federal authorities and 1000’s of scholars have been subjected to bodily, emotional and sexual abuse.
READ MORE: ‘Statues are not history’: contemplating the elimination of Sir John A. Macdonald
Sinclair’s complete report trying on the historical past of the faculties and their impression branded them as a type of “cultural genocide.”
Last yr, the federal Liberal authorities stripped the identify of residential faculties developer Hector-Louis Langevin from the constructing throughout from Parliament Hill that homes the Prime Minister’s Office.
The City of Calgary adopted swimsuit, renaming its Langevin Bridge as Reconciliation Bridge.
In 2017, the union representing elementary college academics in Ontario voted in favour of encouraging faculties named after Macdonald to seek out new names.
At the time, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated Ottawa had no plans to take away the identify from something inside federal jurisdiction.
Note: « Previously Published on: 2018-08-15 14:39:27, as ‘‘You can’t erase historical past’: McKenna weighs in on elimination of statues like Sir John A. Macdonald – National