Canada Petition calls on Whitehorse to remove Jack London sculpture
Kingston, Ont., protesters ask city to remove City Park Sir John A. Macdonald statue
“It isn’t erasing history, it isn’t a slap in the face to the city of Kingston, it is simply trying to grant the level of recognition and dignity to thousands of people," said Jesse Bell, who participated in Saturday's protest.About 100 protesters marched from City Park to city hall on Saturday, where they burned an effigy of Canada’s first prime minister.
Calls are being renewed internationally to remove statues of historic figures with problematic and racist pasts, and Yukon is not exempt.
In Whitehorse, there's a request for the city to remove the bust sculpture of the famed Klondike novelist Jack London. There are also calls to create a democratic committee of diverse stakeholders to actively review all current statues and landmark names in the city, as well as any that will be put up moving forward.
Abdeer Ahmad started an online petition asking Whitehorse city council to remove the bust of London from Main Street downtown.
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For the second time in three days, a statue of Sir John A. MacDonald in Wilmot Township, Ont. has been found with a fresh coat of red paint. Police say a man who was walking his dog spotted the vandalism and called it in at around 7 a.m. on Tuesday morning. Read more: Red paint dumped on statue of Sir John A. MacDonald statue in Baden, Ont. They believe the statue, which is located next to Castle Kilbride Museum in Baden, had the paint dumped on it overnight.
Ahmad said there are themes of xenophobia, racism and ableism in London's well-known works of literature.
"As a writer, London actively wrote about the inferiority of people of colour and advocated for eugenic ideas," she said.
Ahmad referenced London's story The Unparalleled Invasion, in which she said London references Asian immigration as the "yellow peril," while also emphasizing the value of biological warfare and genocide against Chinese people as necessary to upholding white civilization.
In other works, she said people of colour are "often characterized into groups likened to savages, animals, and spoken about as a subhuman species."
Listen up: Whitehorse has an updated plan for dealing with public emergencies
Be prepared, listen to instructions, follow the instructions. That's the message Whitehorse Fire Department Deputy Chief Chris Green is delivering this summer. Green and other city staff have finished a two-years-in-the-making project called the Public Safety Protective Plan. It's the guide-book for public officials who are responding to emergencies that might require residents to shelter in place, be put on evacuation alert or obey anThat's the message Whitehorse Fire Department Deputy Chief Chris Green is delivering this summer.
Ahmad said part of the problem is that not many people know about London's history.
"When we put people on a pedestal … we perpetuate this idea of these individuals as being idealistic and we endorse these values inadvertently."
For example, Ahmad said London's statue only draws attention to his trip to Yukon and how his work brought attention to the North. But she said it doesn't mention how his work "contributed to the perpetuation of racist, colonial narratives."
"Statues provide a very biased form of history, one that only discusses the contributions of individuals to white society, but never their impact on other diverse peoples," she said.
In early June, protesters in Boston beheaded a statue of Christopher Columbus, and the city later removed it. In the city of London, a statue of slave trader Robert Milligan was removed from outside a museum.
Murray Lundberg, a historian in Whitehorse, said he thinks it is important that some of the statues that have been removed elsewhere of people who are "blatantly traders and supporters of slavery" are taken down.
Petition calls for renaming of Winnipeg’s Wolseley Avenue, schools
The petition has made the rounds online since its creation a week ago — more than 2,000 people have signed as of Wednesday. Wolseley commanded the Red River Expeditionary Force in 1870 which fought against the Louis Riel-led Red River Rebellion. The petition requests the city and school divisions rename the avenue and schools “in honour of the Métis people who so courageously resisted Wolseley’s invasion and who lost their lives for the cause.” The avenue — for which the neighbourhood is also named — runs along the Assiniboine River from Raglan Road to Furby Street.
However, he does not think London's bust needs to be taken down.
"I have no objection to a statue being taken down if it's being taken down for legitimate reasons, and I don't think that Jack London fits that," he said.
He said that London was writing to the audiences of the time, and that he eventually changed his ways of thinking.
"That feeling, you know, against immigrants and against other races was popular at the time," said Lundberg.
He said it's significant to take into account how people develop, and what their ultimate historic record is, saying that London's work has brought tens of thousands of people to Yukon.
"But then once he sort of matured, certainly by 1901, he had gotten rid of those kinds of attitudes and was very much a socialist and had gone into the respect for people of colour and so on."
Still, Ahmad said that it's important to provide a contemporary lens to this history, even if his views did eventually evolve.
"As individuals, we should be given room to change, and personal growth is definitely very justified. But … it's not just about him as an individual," she said.
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A Quebec teacher and his wife, a pediatrician, are calling on the government to amend its 'restrictive' back-to-school plan amid the ongoing pandemic."We have to be realistic," Landry said. "If schools open the way they were announced on June 16th, it's not going to work.
"It's the fact that his work, regardless of whether or not his intentions changed later on, helped justify and contribute to a system which consistently dehumanized people of colour."
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Garden boxes help Whitehorse food bank grow its resources .
The Whitehorse food bank has a new resource to help feed its clients. Garden Boxes have been built at the downtown centre, and the veggies are now starting to grow. Dave Blottner, executive director of the Whitehorse Food Bank, says the 46 boxes are the latest measure from the food bank to help feed hungry Yukoners. "This year especially with the cost of food going up, the food bank has always had a strong belief in fresh produce and making sure our clients can access that." Blottner said growing their own food helps cut purchasing costs, but it has an even greater value than that.