As the inquisition against Confederate monuments and street names continues in the U.S., Canadian natives are continuing their war against Canadian historical figures.
Now they have convinced the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario that the name of Sir John A. Macdonald — the father of Canadian confederation — be erased from all schools in the province.
There are quite a few.
The native activist group Idle No More is behind most of the political action. They even held a sit-in on Parliament Hill during the July 1 Canada Day celebrations to highlight their cause.
They are demanding that the name of a park in Halifax, Nova Scotia be changed because it was named after Gen. Edward Cornwallis, who fought the American colonists in the American revolutionary war: but that’s not why they want his name stricken — natives say Cornwallis was responsible for a program of genocide aimed against Atlantic tribes.
Now Macdonald is facing the same accusations, apparently because he lacked the sensitivity of the current prime minister, Justin Trudeau.
Felipe Pareja, a French teacher in the Peel region of Ontario, sponsored the motion to rename provincial schools. Pareja says it passed by a substantial majority, but wasn’t unanimous. He says he understands Macdonald may well be a figure of historic importance but he shouldn’t be honored today because of his “central role as the architect, of, really what was the genocide of Indigenous peoples on Turtle Island.,” as he told CBC News.
But the initiative isn’t receiving blanket acclaim in the province.
“It’s one of the most crazy and ridiculous things I’ve ever heard — just simply trying to erase Canadian history in the guise of an extreme and radical political correctness. I can’t believe the average teacher in Ontario would support this type of ridiculous idea,” John Baird, a former foreign affairs minister in the Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, told CBC.
Conservative Member of Parliament Erin O’Toole entered the fray on Wednesday, calling the plan “embarrassing” and tweeted that the “teachers’ union needs a lesson in how to teach history.”