The "Unceded Land" Mantra
- I strongly dislike hearing the acknowledgment before every, single, City Council meeting that we are all, every Nanaimo Resident, living on the "Unceded Land" of the Snunymeux First Nations
- I believe this is technically true, though I am not a Historian, and I do not know what treaties were signed in earlier years. An opportunity for an Expert Debate : Is Nanaimo Unceded Territory?
- The word Unceded is a synonym for "Stolen". Every time Nanaimo Residents hear the Mantra, they are being told, they are being CONDITIONED to internalize the idea that they are living on someone else's stolen land. Psychologically this is not a healthy belief to internalize, nor is it remotely fair.
- The people living in Nanaimo today had nothing to do with Colonialism, or the Residential Schools, or the Flawed Treaty System.
- Individuals are responsible for their OWN actions and those for whom they are legally responsible (one's children). No one should feel responsible for the actions of their ancestors, or even more so, the actions of people who lived on the land they occupy decades or centuries ago.
Renaming City Structures, Streets, Signs, Landmarks to Traditional Snunymeux Names
I would welcome an "Expert Debate : Should Contemporary Names of City Structures and their Historical Significance Be Eliminated to Make Room for New Names that Reflect the Culture of People's Who Were Present Before?"
I believe it is essential to learn History, to learn from History, and strive to avoid the mistakes that were made historically, but I do not believe that Modern people should accept guilt or responsibility for actions that were done by their ancestors.
Nanaimo has Historical names for its streets, buildings, landmarks. Renaming them is denying the history that encompasses their name. Someone should not be forced to change their name because it is considered the "Progressive", "Conciliatory" thing to do.
I believe in Individual Liberty and Personal Freedom and Private Property and Respect for History.
Now, if a new structure in Nanaimo is available to be named, and the owner or relevant party CHOOSES to bequeath the structure a traditional, First Nations name, I am 100% in favor of that.
For me, it is always about Freedom of Choice, and the absence of the use of Force.
What happened to First Nations peoples was wrong, but we move forward, not dwelling on the past.
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