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Northern British Columbia’s post-colonial era

Posted on 16 July 2013

Barkerville blogger/museum theater specialist Danette Boucher asks “Is it ethical to celebrate the colonial era?”:

“Is it ethical to celebrate the colonial period of a land, when colonisation certainly wasn’t a good thing for many of the ethnic groups involved? Is it ethical to celebrate industries like gold mining without also spending some amount of time addressing the element of damage industry of any kind brings to an environment?”

Prince George Citizen editor Neil Godbout wants to correct history:

“We have a mural in Prince George Community Foundation Park, just a few short steps from that great statue of Terry Fox, that tells a blatant, racist lie about this area’s history. It glorifies white settlers and marginalizes First Nations. One part of the mural, depicting a white missionary teaching a rapt audience of aboriginal people, is particularly offensive in light of what happened in residential schools.”

It looks like a cerebral discussion, but it really is something for every resident of a city/province/country to grapple with: who are we? How do we present ourselves? Which stories do we tell? We’re only just now becoming aware of/acknowledging some of the less savory parts of our past, and are figuring out how to incorporate them into who we are. In many ways, we’re starting from scratch. It’s a new era, if we want it to be.

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As a sidenote, I was lucky enough to speak with Danette Boucher about these issues. You can listen to that conversation here

Filed under: British Columbia, Canada, cities, Indigenous, Prince George

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