Editor of the Pipestone Flyer, Shaela Dansereau

DANSEREAU: A statue is not history

Opinion: A statue is not history

I don’t know about you, but I was taught a long time ago who John A. MacDonald is. Throughout school, elementary to high school, Canadians are taught about the Prime Ministers of our country. Correction, we are taught about the positive attributes and contributions of those Prime Ministers.

You know what we aren’t told? The direct correlation that many of them have to the darkest part of Canadian history. I was taught about the residential school system throughout school but I wasn’t told about the speeches John A MacDonald made when he created residential schools, or about his evident racism throughout his time leading Canada.

I have never been to Canada’s Capital, and guess what? I didn’t need to go see a statue to learn about John A MacDonald—he’s literally on our money. I don’t need a statue of him to know Canadian history. Statues should be there for people we revere, who’s light and deeds deserve to be seen and accredited. We need more statues of Terry Fox, and Nellie McClung—Canadian heroes, people to look up-to.

Canadian’s don’t need a statue of their first Prime Minister—we know who he is just fine. Anybody who claims that toppling a statue is erasing history either has very poor faith in their memory or is oblivious to the bigger issues at hand. John A MacDonald is still on our money, he is still in our textbooks, he isn’t being erased from history.

But do you know who was erased from history? The thousands of children and families impacted generationally from the Indian act and the residential school system. Children were stolen from their families, stripped of their culture and put in the hands of abusers because the man in charge of making foundational decisions for Canada decided that everyone needed to be more like the ‘white man’. There are still unmarked, mass graves scattered across this country with those who died in residential schools. Say what you will, but the fact that a statue of a man who literally thought up and laid the legal groundwork for Canada’s least acknowledged cultural genocide doesn’t bother me.

In fact, I believe that this doesn’t erase history at all. If anything it reopens the door for more discussion and debate on Canada’s history. The times we are in right now are an opportunity to refresh our education on Canadian history, and this time not leave anything out.



shaela.dansereau@pipestoneflyer.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATED: Red Deer has nine active COVID-19 cases

Number of cases increased by 107 Friday

Good turnout for first annual suicide awareness walk

About 40 Ponoka residents came out for the event

Man sentenced to 7 years for gas-and-dash death of Alberta gas station owner

Ki Yun Jo was killed after Mitchell Sydlowski sped off in a stolen cube van without paying for $198 of fuel

QUIZ: A celebration of apples

September is the start of the apple harvest

Best of Ponoka Readers’ Choice Awards 2020

Enter for your chance to win a $300 gift card for Evergreen Co-op

Six injured, man in custody following BB gun incident in Alberta, RCMP say

Airdrie’s downtown core was told to shelter-in-place, while others nearby were asked to stay inside

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Wetaskiwin RCMP make arrests for Hit and Run to residence

Damage estimates are expected to be in excess of $20,000.

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

“My world exploded,” says Bentley-area farmer who’s swather was struck by a motorist

Dennis Duncan was a mile from home when his swather was struck by another travelling at high speeds

UPDATE: Last kidnapping suspect arrested

Amber Knickle has been arrested and remains in police custody

Most Read