July 9, 2021
A Canadian historical society that gets hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal cash subsidies said BC should be renamed as a way to purge its colonial past, says Blacklock’s Reporter.
“It’s not British; it never was,” Canada’s National History Society wrote in the August issue of its taxpayer-funded periodical.
“Re-examining the past is not easy,” wrote Mark Reid, editor of Canada’s History magazine.
“It creates uncomfortable feelings and reveals difficult truths.
“The discovery this spring of the remains of 215 First Nations children at a Kamloops, B.C. Residential School was a jarring reminder of just how little most non-indigenous Canadians know about the history of not only residential schools but also indigenous peoples in this country.”
The History Society received $796,867 in federal subsidies last year including $212,499 from the Department of Canadian Heritage to publish its periodical, according to accounts.
The article complained the province “gets its name from a colonial power and a murderous American sea captain” and was “a European legal fiction which led that land not occupied by Christians was vacant.”
“Thirsty for control over the land and driven by a desire to remove the power of indigenous peoples, those who asserted first British, then Canadian legal authority, used that authority as a weapon against Indigenous peoples through layers upon layers of statutes and legislation,” said the article, written by Ry Moran, an associate librarian at the University of Victoria and founding director of the National Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
“We continue to live in a province where every child’s birth certificate is inscribed with the name British Columbia,” wrote Moran.
“Each and every vehicle license plate is marked with the words.
“These names direct us to a history of bloodshed and violence that is deeply enmeshed in our collective history, one that is shared, one that remains submerged, but one that has already required repentance, apology and contrition. If this indeed is the history we bear within the name of our province, then must we not ask, what actions must follow these apologies?”
“Columbia” is derived from Columbia Rediviva, a U.S. schooner that landed on Vancouver Island in 1792 in what Moran called “the hallucination of discovery.”