For people driving by Regina’s Victoria Park Monday afternoon, they would have seen the statue of John A. Macdonald covered in a white sheet and yellow police tape.
A group of people, some from the Saskatchewan Coalition Against Racism (SCAR) held a teach-in, indicating people needed to learn about the history of Canada’s first prime minister and how he treated the Indigenous population.
Chris Kortright with SCAR said they held a rally about white nationalism earlier in the month and one person recommended they get rid of certain monuments.
“Our city is built literally on white supremacy with statues of John A. Macdonald, schools named Davin, roads named Dewdney, which is the colonial history of Canada and the genocidal history of Canada.”
He said the statue and other monuments do not accurately represent history.
“If they want to actually have true monument, they want to show some artistic design of John A. Macdonald holding food away from Indigenous people and actually show the genocide that he did, then I’m not opposed to it, but this monument is not maintaining history, it’s not teaching history, it’s exactly whitewashing history.”
He said people in the states are trying to do something similar in the U.S. by tearing down the statues of Confederate War leaders.
“It’s a continental move to actually challenge these violent histories.”
Premier Brad Wall has indicated that removing historic names is a “slippery slope” in a Facebook post last week.
“It is never elected officials that ever lead the charge for any progressive charge at, it is always from the ground and it is always from the grassroots,” Kortright said.
The sheet and police tape were removed from the statue shortly after the teach-in.
Kortright said a petition has been put together and it will be taken to city council to ask that the statue be removed.