LETTER: History a matter of balancing retrospectives

In the current issue of the Gazette you describe Dr. Sean Carleton, an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Manitoba, as a “national historian”(There’s no room for half truths in truth and reconciliation, according to University of Manitoba Professor, The Picton Gazette, Oct. 8).

I am not sure just what is meant by that term, but I have also known professional historians who both recognize the importance of the destruction of the aboriginal peoples AND also have a broader view of not only MacDonald but of many of his contemporaries.

History is always a matter of balancing a retrospective understanding of good and evil, especially when a country like Canada that seems so stable now was brand new and fighting for its very existence: remember, the U.S. Civil War left that country with a huge and well armed force that could have easily absorbed “Canada”, little territory by territory. A unified Canada prevented that.

Can we please hear from more Canadian historians who share Dr. Carleton’s standing? And try to develop a more nuanced view of what was both a time of terrible tragedy – and the birth of this nation that I, like my ancestors, am proud to call my home.

Then perhaps we can stop talking quite so much about the past and devote our energies to creating a new and better country for the future!

Mary Lazier

Prince Edward County