The National Post recently featured a series of articles about Sir John A. MacDonald. It’s time. As a result of name removal, statue decapitation and the hostile narrative about him, historic truth is suffering. It is clear that the left and others want him stricken from history. They’d be happy to remove every reference to him.
But that wouldn’t be right. First, ‘grievance archeology’ is wrong. It ignores historical context and truth. As the NP contributors stated, John A. MacDonald did a lot for native people. He did not want the genocidal experience of the United States. He negotiated treaties so that it wouldn’t happen here. He created the NWMP so that both whites and natives would be protected. He had food distributed as best he could to aboriginal peoples so they would not starve when the buffalo were gone.
Was he perfect? No. Was he consistent? No. But he respected them and made sure they could reside on their ancestral lands, calling them “free people.” Mackenzie’s Liberals criticized him for doing too much for the indigenous population. In his May 5th, 1880 speech, he reminded people that they were “original owners of the soil” and we were “bound to protect them.” He did not create the residential schools. The first was built in 1695.
Sir John A. MacDonald was a statesman and the architect of Canada. For that alone his memory should not be besmirched. He should always be remembered and honoured. Historical revision is easy, truth is not.