Below are more entrys into the great debate. The event put on by the PPM after the parade was pretty successful, one suggestion would be more of a variety of music and FOOD. Speakers are also good but must have a time limit put on them, many people left during some of the delegations.
A lot of the letters seem to talk about erasing history. This is in no way what those that seek a change of the name are trying to do, in fact we must remember the past so we do not repeat it. The following is from a letter I wrote in 2005;
The word Empire is defined as "a group of nations, states or peoples ruled over by an emperor, empress, or other sovereign,"(Random House Dictionary, 1991). In no way does a vague definition such as this define how those nations, states or peoples came to be controlled under such sovereign rule. Histories however show that empire is primarily achieved through conquest and seldom do independent nations voluntarily join.
To impose its will over others and become the greatest Empire of the last five hundred years the British Government, yes that even of Queen Victoria, participated in the conquest and genocide of many peoples. One only has to look at Canada as an example. In its war against the French, in Canada, in the 1760's the British used germ warfare, spreading smallpox by infected blankets, against the Indian population. Sounds horrible but it is fact supported by actual letters in the British Manuscript Project, at the Library of Congress in the United States.
During Queen Victoria’s reign and with the collusion of the Canadian Government the Residential School System for First Nations peoples in Canada came into being. Attendance became compulsory for children between the ages of 7 and 16; parents not placing their children in these institutions could be jailed (Barman, et. Al. Indian education in Canada: the legacy ). In 1907 Dr. Peter Bryce, Medical Inspector for the Department of Indian Affairs cited an average death rate of 40% in the residential schools (Bryce, Dr. P.H., The story of a national crime: Being a record of the health conditions of the Indians of Canada from 1904 to 1921[Ottawa, 1922]). He reported children being deliberately infected with diseases like tuberculosis, and left to die untreated, as a regular practice.
Horrible as these instances are they are but a few in a litany of what we would now call Crimes Against Humanity.
As I say I am not totally against the celebration of Victoria Day, but to celebrate “Empire” I think I will pass.
More from the news media:
Harbour City Star
It's disheartening that some try to spoil the fun of others Published: Friday, May 22, 2009
Perhaps it's time for the empire to get more civilized Published: Friday, May 22, 2009
Protest didn't rain on parade Published: Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Paul Walton: Nanaimo Heritage about far more than empire Published: Thursday, May 21, 2009
Parade followed by protest Published: Sunday, May 17, 2009
Writer reveals smugness in his historical analysis Published: Monday, May 25, 2009
Tolerance in order for any group having a parade Published: Monday, May 25, 2009
English is universal but a second language helps Published: Monday, May 25, 2009
Many things more vital than the name of a parade Published: Saturday, May 23, 2009
Nothing shameful about British Empire Legacy Published: Friday, May 22, 2009
Empire days deserved more coverage in paper Published: Thursday, May 21, 2009
British Empire heritage something to celebrate Published: Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Disheartening that some try to spoil others' fun Published: Wednesday, May 20, 2009
No one should demand we negate our history Published: Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Canada is in danger of becoming homogenous Published: Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Empire opposition eager to talk with organizers Published: May 20, 2009
More names will need to be changed Published: May 25, 2009 3:00 PM
Empire consisted of men asserting power over men & Empire opposers standing up for their beliefs, cause Published: May 22, 2009
City’s past celebrated & Dispute over celebrations name silly Published: May 20, 2009
Name controversy appalling Published: May 18, 2009
Use discussion to settle name Published: May 13, 2009