Letter to the Editor of the Victoria Times Colonist, 5 April 2000
It’s always interesting when the powerful appropriate victim status from the powerless.
In his letter of April 5 (“Gardom under attack for Vancouver quote”), D. Abercrombie suggests that the oppressive forces of “political correctness” are conspiring to remove the free-speech rights of the Canadian people.
Lieutenant-Governor Garde Gardom emerges as the innocent victim of First Nations people who are delving back “into the depths of the past, for a recorded historical account which they would wish to change to their own advantage.”
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Gardom repeated a quote of Captain George Vancouver to the effect that British Columbia was nothing but vast empty space prior to European settlement.
We all know this is not the case. First Nations people settled in BC roughly 10,000 year ago. They had highly developed forms of community and subsistence long before the first European set foot in the new world.
That Vancouver’s version of BC history was accepted as “fact” until recent years does not make it true.
The label “political correctness” is too often used to silence those searching for a more accurate history. Recognizing the rights of oppressed people, and exposing discrimination in our present society, does not amount to censorship.
It amounts to justice, and should be encouraged.