LETTER: Statue honours Macdonald’s political legacy

Sir John A. Macdonald’s statue was not created to commemorate his stance on residential schools, but rather the fact that he was Canada’s first prime minister. That is an historical fact. While we now know that his thinking on the education of first nation children was wrong, that it has and continues to have negative impacts on our native population, does not change that fact.

His error in believing, at that time, that the native population was inferior to those who came in ships to this country was not his belief and his alone. We have acknowledged and accepted that belief was wrong. But his having those beliefs does not change the hundreds of other decisions he made that contributed in a positive way to the making of Canada as we know it today. It is those positive decisions that lead to the decision to commemorate him with a statue.

Personal I am appalled at the way our native peoples have and are being treated. No one person was responsible, and no one person can correct it. That is the sad truth. We, however, can shed light on those errors without destroying the historical record. That Sir John A. Macdonald was the first prime minister is not in dispute, and being remembered for that is not wrong.

In remembering his feet of clay, his capacity to be human, can be acknowledged as a monumental wrong, but it cannot be undone. What was done after that, by way of attempting to right that wrong, to work toward reconciliation, is also an ongoing truth.

The horror of residential schools cannot be forgotten, but neither should the good done in being the first Prime Minister of Canada. Add some history to the plaque on the statue, the good and the bad, but don’t discard the history the statue was intended to commemorate; and that was not his mistake in creating residential schools or his belief that our native people were not equals, but rather for his role in creating Canada.

Roberta Marshman

Saanich

Just Posted

Parkland musical theatre lights up the stage with Grease

North Saanich school stages show Jan. 30 to Feb. 2

City of Victoria endorses potential class action lawsuit against fossil fuel giants

Data will be gathered to quantify how much environmental damage the city has faced

Toronto Arrows players take aim at youth rugby clinic

Juan de Fuca team offers get acquainted clinics

‘Blue Monday’ isn’t real, but depression can be

CMHA encourages people to prioritize their mental health

Braves host 2019 Prospects Game, Saturday at Pearkes

Campbell River to host VIJHL All-Star Game, Sunday

UPDATE: B.C. legislature managers accused of excessive travel, personal expense claims

Clerk Craig James, security chief Gary Lenz call allegations ‘completely false’

B.C. man fined $10,000 after leaving moose to suffer before death

Surrey man was convicted last week on three Wildlife Act charges

POLL: Should people have to license their cats?

The Victoria Natural History Society has sent letters to 13 municipalities in… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 15

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Anti-pipeline group wants NEB to consider impact of emissions, climate change

Stand.earth filed NEB motion asking to apply same standard to the project as it did with Energy East pipeline

B.C. man charged in 2014 snake venom death of toddler

Henry Thomas was taking care of the North Vancouver girl the day before she died

B.C.’s largest public-sector union wants inquiry into money laundering, drugs

Union officials say Premier John Horgan and Attorney General David Eby have not ruled out the possibility of a public inquiry

Teen in confrontation with Native American: I didn’t provoke

Nick Sandmann of Covington Catholic High School said he was trying to defuse the situation

Suspect allegedly armed with handgun robs Island gas station

Incident occurred Sunday night in Nanaimo

Most Read