A local advocacy group is spreading a message garnering attention across the country in response to coming changes at Ogden Point.
BCProud released a video advocating for Victoria’s Ogden Point to keep its name, despite the namesake’s dark history. Since its release on Sept. 2 the video has been viewed more than 200,000 times.
Peter Ogden was a fur trader born in the 1790s, and was indicted for the violent murder of a First Nations trader. Despite this fact, BCProud questions the name change.
“For what? An admittedly checkered past?” asked BCProud spokesperson Aaron Gunn in the video. “He was born in 1794. He was a fur trader in the wild west. Who did you expect, Mother Theresa?”
On Sept. 18, Ogden Point officially changes to the Breakwater District, a decision Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA) CEO Ian Robertson told Black Press has more to do with clarity than history.
“As I talk to residents and visitors, they’re not certain what part is Ogden Point — where is it, what are the boundaries — but when we talk about the breakwater, everyone knows what that is,” Robertson said.
During the renaming process the GVHA discovered Ogden’s history, but Robertson said this wasn’t the push for the decision.
Regardless of how the change came about, Gunn said the decision was misdirected.
“Instead of tearing down statues and renaming public spaces we should be learning from our past, not erasing it,” Gunn said. “This superficial change does nothing for the City of Victoria or its residents. It only further erodes our past.”
-With files from Kendra Crighton