Wednesday, 24 April 2019

HSO April Meeting

On Friday 26 April the HSO presentation is Renaming and Reconciliation, by Betsey Baldwin

Abstract: In recent years, there has been a movement to rename landmarks in order to better reflect our history, and to remove names of those considered unworthy of commemoration. This effort is particularly focused on honouring Indigenous people, and removing commemoration of those who systemically mistreated Indigenous people. This has been broached at all levels of government, with the federal renaming of the Office of the Prime Minister and Privy Council (formerly the Langevin building); demands of the province by the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario that Sir John A. Macdonald’s name be removed from public schools; and local renaming of LeBreton to Pimisi Station. This talk will discuss how history is used in these cases for reconciliation and to honour Indigenous people and cultures; whether this is effective; the basis of historical accuracy; and how the practice of renaming may be contested. We will also broach the practical fact that one group’s commemoration may come – or be perceived to come – at the expense of another. The purpose of the talk is to raise examples and pose questions and options, without presenting a solution or prescriptive conclusion. Discussion encouraged following the presentation.

Biography: Betsey Baldwin is one of the owners of Public History Inc., a historical research firm in Ottawa. She has a Ph.D. from uOttawa, and has been a part-time professor at that university since 2002. Her course offering includes Public History and Indigenous History in Canada. In her work at Public History Inc., Betsey provides historical research that informs Indigenous claims related to treaties, reserves, education, and other matters, for First Nations, Aboriginal organizations, provincial and federal Crown clients. She believes that a shared basis of historical knowledge can aid grievance resolution, and she hopes that her career serves that purpose.

1:00 pm in the lounge of the Routhier Community Centre, 172 Guigues Street at Cumberland.

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