Transcript: Tear Down This Name! | Sep 07, 2017

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, purple gingham shirt, and spotted purple tie.

A caption on screen reads "Tear down this name! @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says IT'S BEEN ONE OF THE
HOTTEST ARGUMENTS IN THE
PROVINCE OVER THE PAST FEW
WEEKS.
A RESOLUTION BY THE ELEMENTARY
TEACHERS' FEDERATION OF ONTARIO
TO RID SCHOOLS OF THE NAME OF
CANADA'S FIRST PRIME MINISTER,
SIR JOHN A. MACDONALD, HAS
BROUGHT HOME A DEBATE THAT FIRST
ERUPTED IN THE U.S.
HOW SHOULD THE PRESENT
COMMEMORATE THE PAST?
JOINING US NOW TO CONSIDER THAT:
IN WINNIPEG, MANITOBA:
NIIGAAN SINCLAIR, GRADUATE
PROGRAM DIRECTOR FOR THE
DEPARTMENT OF NATIVE STUDIES,
UNIVERSITY OF MANITOBA.

Niigaan is in his forties, clean-shaven, with short spiky brown hair. He's wearing a gray t-shirt and a beaded necklace.

Steve continues AND HERE IN OUR STUDIO:
TORI CRESS, ONTARIO CO-FOUNDER
OF THE IDLE NO MORE MOVEMENT...

Tori is in her thirties, with long wavy brown hair. She's wearing a beige cardigan over a blue shirt, and a leather pendant necklace.

Steve continues AND CHRISTOPHER DUMMITT,
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR IN TRENT
UNIVERSITY'S SCHOOL FOR THE
STUDY OF CANADA AND AUTHOR OF
"UNBUTTONED: A HISTORY OF
MACKENZIE KING'S SECRET LIFE."

Christopher is in his early forties, with short, receding blond hair and a stubble. He's wearing a gray suit and a blue shirt.

Steve continues NIIGAAN, GOOD TO HAVE YOU IN
POINTS BEYOND, AND IN OUR
STUDIO, LOVELY TO YOU HAVE YOU
GUYS HERE AS WELL.
LET'S SET THIS UP, IF WE CAN.
THERE ARE TEN SCHOOLS IN THE
PROVINCE OF ONTARIO, THEY'RE
NAMED AFTER SIR JOHN A.
MACDONALD, SIX ELEMENTARY, FOUR
SECONDARY SCHOOLS.
THERE'S A MAP OF WHERE YOU CAN
FIND THEM.

A map pops up with the title "Ontario Schools named after John A. Macdonald."
It highlights the location of 10 schools throughout central Ontario, and one in northern Ontario.

A slate appears on screen, with the title "Rename schools bearing Macdonald's name. Ontario."

Steve reads data from the slate and says
IN A POLL BY ANGUS REID, 57 percent OF ONTARIANS OPPOSED RENAMING
SCHOOLS AFTER SIR JOHN A.
MACDONALD, 25 percent SUPPORTED IT.
LET'S BASICALLY GO AROUND THE
HORN HERE AND GET A SENSE OF
WHERE YOU ALL ARE ON THIS ISSUE.
NIIGAAN, START US OFF HERE ON
THIS ISSUE OF WHETHER SIR JOHN
A.'S NAME OUGHT TO BE TAKEN OFF
CURRENT SCHOOLS?
WHAT'S YOUR VIEW?

The caption changes to "Niigaan Sinclair. University of Manitoba."
Then, it changes again to "Erasing or understanding?"

Niigaan says STEVE, THANKS FOR HAVING ME ON.
IT'S QUITE SIMPLE, REALLY.
I WANT EVERYONE TO IMAGINE FOR A
MOMENT THAT YOU HAVE A LEADER
WHO HAS COMMANDED THE DEATHS OF
YOUR FAMILY, THE REMOVAL OF YOUR
CHILDREN, AND THEN THE FORCEABLE
RELOCATION OF YOUR LIVES TO
SOMEWHERE ELSE, AND I WANT YOU
TO IMAGINE THAT YOU HAVE... YOU
LIVE IN A COMMUNITY WHERE THAT
PERSON IS REVERED, PLACES THAT
ARE... EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS
ARE NAMED AFTER THAT PERSON, AND
THEN YOU GET A TINY GLIMPSE OF
WHAT IT FELT LIKE TO BE AN
INDIGENOUS PERSON FOR 150 YEARS.
IT'S QUITE SIMPLE WHEN YOU SEE
IT THAT WAY.
FOR INDIGENOUS PEOPLE, IF
THEY'RE TRULY TO BE A PART OF
THIS COUNTRY AND WE'RE TO HAVE A
MEANINGFUL, RESPONSIBLE, ETHICAL
RELATIONSHIP, PERHAPS WE SHOULD
THINK ABOUT HOW WE REVERE
PEOPLE.

Steve says IN WHICH CASE DOES
THAT INVOLVE TAKING THE FIRST
PRIME MINISTER'S NAME OFF
EXISTING STRUCTURES?

Niigaan says
ABSOLUTELY.
I DON'T SEE WHY THAT SHOULDN'T
TAKE PLACE.
THERE ARE MANY PEOPLE IN THIS
COUNTRY WHO SHOULD BE REVERED
AND SIR JOHN A. MACDONALD
PERHAPS SHOULDN'T BE ONE OF
THEM.

Steve says GOTCHA NOW.
TORI, WHAT'S YOUR POSITION ON
THIS ONE?

The caption changes to "Tori Cress. Idle no more."

Tori says I ECHO A LOT OF
WHAT NIIGAAN SAID AND I SUPPORT
THE TEACHERS TO TAKE THE
INITIATIVE TO MOVE FORWARD ON
THIS AND THAT IT'S CANADIANS
THAT HAVE MADE THIS DECISION.
I SUPPORT THIS DECISION THAT
THEY MADE, YOU KNOW, OUR
CHILDREN ARE BEING EDUCATED WITH
THE HISTORICAL UNTRUTHS NOT
BEING TOLD.
WE ARE NOT BEING SHOWN THE FULL
HISTORY.
AND BEING AN ONTARIO STUDENT
MYSELF, I KNOW EXACTLY WHAT I
LEARNED AND WHAT I DIDN'T LEARN,
AND THAT THE KNOWLEDGE THAT I
HAVE NOW IS BECAUSE I WENT OUT
INTO THE WORLD AND TAUGHT MYSELF
OUR HISTORY.
IN TURN NOW I'M DOING THAT AT
HOME WITH MY OWN CHILDREN.
BUT THAT'S NOT HAPPENING IN
EVERY ONTARIO HOME.

Steve says I'M INFERRING FROM
YOUR COMMENT THAT YOU WERE NOT
TAUGHT, WHEN YOU WERE A PRODUCT
OF THE SCHOOL SYSTEM, THAT SIR
JOHN A. ESTABLISHED RESIDENTIAL
SCHOOLS?

Tori says I WAS NOT
TAUGHT THAT AT ALL AND THE WORD
SAVAGE WAS USED IN THE TEXT
BOOKS AND YOUR ENTIRE CLASS
TURNS AROUND AND LOOKS AT YOU,
IT'S PRETTY SIGNIFICANT AND IT'S
A HORRIFYING EXPERIENCE TO FEEL
LIKE YOU'RE, YOU KNOW, AN INCH
TALL BECAUSE EVERYONE IS LOOKING
AT YOU BECAUSE YOU WERE JUST
CALLED A SAVAGE.

Steve says SO TAKE THE NAMES
OFF THE BUILDINGS?

Tori says ABSOLUTELY.

Steve says CHRISTOPHER?

The caption changes to "Christopher Dummitt. Trent University."

Christopher says I
GUESS I'M HERE TO GIVE THE
OPPOSITE PERSPECTIVE.
I CAN TOTALLY UNDERSTAND WHY
PEOPLE WOULD WANT THAT THE CASE,
FOR EXACTLY THE REASONS YOU WERE
JUST SAYING.
I GET IT.
AS A HISTORIAN, I WOULD SAY THAT
EVERYONE'S HISTORY IS COMPLEX
AND EVERYONE'S HISTORY HAS THESE
WARS AND JOHN A. MACDONALD IS
SIMILAR TO MANY NATIONAL
FOUNDERS FOUND AMONGST ALL
PEOPLES.
I COULD ALSO SAY IN THE
UNIVERSITY SYSTEM... WE'VE BEEN
TEACHING THIS, ABOUT THE
RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL SYSTEM ABOUT
ALL THE KINDS OF THINGS THAT END
UP ON THE NEWS FOR DECADES NOW.
THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT WE TEACH.
THIS IS NOTHING NEW.
I THINK WHAT'S HAPPENING IS IT'S
FILTERING OUT IN AN INTERESTING
WAY.
I CAN'T EXPLAIN WHY THAT'S
HAPPENING.
I DON'T SUPPORT IT.
I THINK THAT...

Steve says YOU DON'T SUPPORT
TAKING THE NAMES OFF?

Christopher says TAKING
THE NAMES OFF THE SCHOOLS.
I DON'T THINK YOU GET TO CHOOSE
WHO YOUR NATIONAL FOUNDERS ARE.
THIS IS A GOOD EXAMPLE OF SAYING
WHY HISTORY IS IN FACT COMPLEX,
THAT NO ONE HAS A KIND OF
MORALLY PURE BLANK SLATE.
I THINK IT HAS A LOT TO DO...
THIS PROPOSAL COMES FORWARD NOT
FROM INDIGENOUS PEOPLES BUT FROM
THE TEACHERS FEDERATION.
THIS IS ABOUT CONTEMPORARY
POLITICS AND SAYING THIS IS WHAT
WE VALUE NOW.
I THINK A MORE POSITIVE STEP
WOULD BE TO CREATE NEW SCHOOLS
WITH DIFFERENT KINDS OF HEROES
THAT REFLECT THE VALUES THAT
THESE PEOPLE WANT NOW AND I
WOULD COMPLETELY SUPPORT THAT.

Steve says YOU DON'T GET TO
CHOOSE YOUR OWN FOUNDING
FATHERS, THAT'S TRUE.
THEY PREDATE US.
WE INHERITED THEM.
BUT YOU DO GET TO CHOOSE HOW YOU
WANT TO HONOUR THEM AND WHETHER
TO PUT THEIR NAMES ON PUBLIC
BUILDINGS.
APPARENTLY IN OUR WISDOM WE HAVE
CHOSEN TO PUT SIR JOHN A. ON TEN
SCHOOLS ACROSS THE PROVINCE.
IF YOU ACKNOWLEDGE ALL OF WHAT
EVERYBODY HAS JUST SAID, IS THE
NEXT OBVIOUS STEP, WE'VE GOT TO
TAKE THE NAMES DOWN?

Christopher says I
DON'T THINK SO AT ALL.
I THINK YOU CAN LOOK AT THE
INCREDIBLE POSITIVE LEGACY THAT
JOHN A. MACDONALD CREATED.

Steve says WHICH IS WHAT?

Christopher says WHICH
IS, WELL, CREATING THE COUNTRY.
IF YOU LOOK AT OUR REGIONAL
CONSTITUTION, HOW WE CAME
TOGETHER AS A NATION, MOST OF
THAT CONSTITUTION COMES FROM
JOHN A. MACDONALD.
HE DIDN'T GET EVERYTHING HE
WANTED BUT A LOT.
YOU CAN SAY WHO CARES ABOUT THE
CONSTITUTION.
ACTUALLY I THINK EVEN FROM OUR
CONTEMPORARY, YOU CAN FIND A
LEVEL OF INCLUSIVENESS NOT
TOWARDS INDIGENOUS PEOPLES BUT
THE FRENCH AND ENGLISH IN CANADA
WHICH WAS INTRINSIC TO THE
CREATION OF A SUCCESSFUL NATION
IN CANADA.
I THINK THAT MATTERS BECAUSE A
RECENT BOOK ON THE HISTORY OF
MULTICULTURALISM SAID ONE OF THE
REASONS WHY CANADA MOVES TOWARDS
VERY EARLIER THAN MOST
COUNTRIES, WHETHER IT'S
IMMIGRATION POLICY AND STARTS TO
KIND OF ACKNOWLEDGE NEW
CANADIANS' ETHNIC BACKGROUNDS
AND NOT ASSUMING THEY SHOULD
ASSIMILATE, ONE OF THE REASONS
THAT COMES EARLIER IN CANADA IS
EXACTLY BECAUSE OF THIS HISTORY
OF DEALING WITH DIFFERENCE
WITHIN THE COUNTRY.
NOT ALL DIFFERENCE.
ABSOLUTELY NOT ALL DIFFERENCE.
BUT SOME DIFFERENCE.
I THINK THERE'S A REAL CASE TO
BE MADE THERE'S SOMETHING UNIQUE
AND INTERESTING ABOUT THIS.

Steve says NIIGAAN, LET ME COME
BACK TO YOU ON THIS.
I GUESS ONE OF THE PROBLEMS OF
HAVING A FAMOUS AND RESPECTED
FATHER AS YOU DO, SENATOR MURRAY
SINCLAIR, IS CURRENT AFFAIRS
PROGRAM HOSTS ARE GOING TO WANT
TO QUOTE YOUR FATHER TO YOU AND
HAVE YOU COMMENT ON THAT.
HERE GOES.

[LAUGHTER]

Steve continues YOUR DAD SAID...

A quote appears on screen, next to a picture of Murray Sinclair, under the title "Seeking harmony." The quote reads "The problem I have with the overall approach to tearing down statues and buildings is that is counterproductive to reconciliation because it almost smacks of revenge or smacks of acts of anger, but in reality, what we are trying to do, is we are trying to create more balance in the relationship."
Murray Sinclair, as quoted in the National Post. August 29, 2017.

Steve says WHAT'S YOUR VIEW OF
YOUR FATHER'S COMMENTS?

Niigaan says OH, ABSOLUTELY.
AND I THINK MY FATHER'S MOVE TO
TRY TO GET US TO THINK ABOUT
INDIGENOUS PEOPLES THAT WE
SHOULD BE REVERING AS A COUNTRY
IS AN IMPORTANT MOVE.
I DON'T THINK ANYONE'S TALKING
ABOUT TEARING DOWN BUILDINGS,
AND I WOULD CORRECT MY FATHER IN
THAT TO SAY WE ARE TALKING
SIMPLY ABOUT HAVING
CONVERSATIONS AROUND NAMES.
SIR JOHN A. MACDONALD IS NOT
GOING AWAY ANY TIME SOON, AT
ALL, EVER.
THERE IS A TRAIN LINE THAT GOES
RIGHT BY MY HOUSE.
MY CHILDREN ASK HOW DID IT GET
THERE?
AND I EXPLAIN TO THEM THE
HISTORY.
MY CHILDREN ASK ME, WHY IS IT
OUR RESERVE IS IN A LOCATION.
AND I EXPLAIN, BECAUSE WE HAVE A
HISTORY.
MY CHILDREN ASK, WHY IS IT THAT
THERE WAS SO MUCH VIOLENCE OR
POVERTY TODAY?
I EXPLAIN WE HAVE A HISTORY.
AND SIR JOHN A. MACDONALD IS
RESPONSIBLE FOR MUCH OF THAT
HISTORY, HE'S THE ARCHITECT OF
MUCH OF THAT HISTORY.
AND NO ONE IN ANY PART OF THIS
DEBATE IS EVER SAYING WE NEED TO
ERASE SIR JOHN A. FROM THE
HISTORY BOOKS.
HE'LL STILL BE THERE.
HE'S STILL A PART OF MY LIFE IN
2017.
WHAT I'M SAYING, WHAT MOST OF US
ARE SAYING BY JOINING WITH THE
TEACHERS UNION IN THIS, IS WE
NEED TO HAVE A CONVERSATION
ABOUT WHO WE REVERE IN THIS
COUNTRY, WHO DO WE HOLD UP, AND
WHO DO WE TEACH OUR CHILDREN
ABOUT AS PEOPLE THEY SHOULD
EMULATE, THEY SHOULD LOOK TO.
AND I FIND THIS ARGUMENT AROUND
EVERYONE HAS WARTS IN HISTORY TO
BE RATHER CONVENIENT FOR THE
MERE FACT THAT WE'RE NOT TALKING
ABOUT WARTS HERE, WE'RE TALKING
ABOUT DEATH, DESTRUCTION, THE
REMOVAL OF CHILDREN, AND WHAT
PEOPLE CALL GENOCIDE.
THIS ISN'T WARTS.
THIS IS VIOLENCE.
VIOLENCE IS VIOLENCE, WHETHER IT
BE IN 1867 OR WHETHER IT BE IN 2017.

Steve says IF I'M GOING, SORRY,
THOUGH, TO DRAW AN INFERENCE
FROM WHAT SENATOR SINCLAIR HAD
TO SAY, IT'S ABOUT
RECONCILIATION.
YOU DON'T HELP THE CAUSE OF
RECONCILIATION BY TAKING THE
NAME OF THE FOUNDING FATHER OF
ONE OF THE MOST SUCCESSFUL
COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD AND LET'S
ACKNOWLEDGE HIS ENTIRE RECORD,
YOU DON'T HELP THE CAUSE OF
RECONCILIATION BY PULLING THAT
NAME OFF PUBLIC BUILDINGS AND
INSULTING THE MAJORITY OF THE
PEOPLE IN THE COUNTRY.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THAT VIEW?

Tori says I DON'T AGREE WITH THAT VIEW.
IT'S SIGNIFICANT FOR THESE
CHILDREN TO WALK INTO THE
SCHOOLS AND NOT HAVE A SENSE OF
TRIGGERING EFFECT FROM THOSE
EFFECTS OF ALL OF THOSE POLICIES
THAT HE CREATED THAT WAS TO BE
OUR DEMISE...

Steve says DO YOU THINK THAT
REALLY HAPPENED?
YOU THINK WHEN INDIGENOUS KIDS
WALK INTO A SCHOOL CALLED JOHN
A. MACDONALD IT COULD TRIGGER
THAT EFFECT?

Tori says IT COULD.
WE'RE LIVING WITH THE EFFECTS OF
THOSE POLICIES.
IT'S NOT HISTORY TO INDIGENOUS
PEOPLE.
IT'S STILL A VERY MUCH REAL
THING HAPPENING AS OUR CHILDREN
ARE STILL BEING TAKEN AWAY AND
PUT INTO FOSTER HOMES.

Steve says I'M TRYING TO FIND
OUT WHETHER OR NOT THERE'S...
WHETHER THERE'S A SWEET SPOT OF
COMPROMISE SOMEWHERE.
YOU'VE SAID IT.
YOU CAN TOTALLY UNDERSTAND WHY
SOMEONE WHO HAS AN INDIGENOUS
HISTORY WOULD BE APPALLED
WALKING INTO A SCHOOL WITH THAT
NAME ON THE SCHOOL.
OBVIOUSLY A LOT THINK IT'S
IMPORTANT HIS NAME IS ON A
SCHOOL AND LEAVE IT THERE.
HOW DO WE SOLVE THIS?

Christopher says ONE OF
THE THINGS THAT IS INTERESTING,
NIIGAAN WAS SAYING, HISTORY IS
NOT GOING AWAY.
HE COULD GO AWAY WITH A POSITIVE
INTERPRETATION OF JOHN A. COULD
VERY MUCH GO AWAY.
IN THE 1950s AND '60s, AS AN
ATTEMPT TO CREATE A CANADA WHICH
WASN'T BRITISH, WE GOT RID OF A
WHOLE BUNCH OF BRITAIN NAMES AND
CONNECTIONS THAT WOULD HAVE
CELEBRATED CANADA'S BRITISH PAST.
CANADA DAY WAS DOMINION DAY.
WHO REMEMBERS THAT?
I THINK IT CAN GO AWAY.
WE'RE TALKING ABOUT WHETHER TO
OBLITERATE THE PAST.
MacKENZIE KING'S POLICY ON
THIS WAS DAMPENED DOWN ON
CRITICISMS AND TENSIONS, TRYING
TO SOLVE THE ISSUES BUT NOT
INFLAME THE PASSIONS.
I THINK OF THE EXAMPLE OF THE
MOUNTIES IN THE '80s AND THE
TURBAN AS AN EXAMPLE WHICH IS
VERY DIFFERENT THAN THIS.
I STILL TEACH ABOUT ALL THE
INCREDIBLE TENSION THAT THIS
CAUSED IN THAT TIME, AND MY
STUDENTS JUST DON'T GET IT NOW.
TO THEM AN IMAGE OF A MOUNTIE
WITH A TURBAN IS ABSOLUTELY
FINE.
I THINK WHAT'S DIFFERENT ABOUT
THAT EXAMPLE IS YOU TOOK A
CERTAIN KIND OF CANADIAN SYMBOL
AND ADDED TO IT.
YOU DIDN'T TAKE AWAY BUT YOU
ADDED TO IT.
WHY CAN'T THIS ALSO BE THE CASE.

Steve says LET ME PICK UP ON THAT.
NIIGAAN, I WAS IN OTTAWA LAST
WEEK AND I WENT TO A CEMETERY
WHERE THERE WERE A LOT OF
NOTABLE CANADIANS THAT ARE
BURIED.
ONE OF THE GUYS BURIED THERE IS
A FELLOW I HADN'T HEARD OF
BEFORE NAMED NICHOLAS FLOOD
DAVIN.
THE HEADSTONE SAYS LOTS OF NICE
THINGS FROM HIM, FORMER MEMBER
OF PARLIAMENT FROM MANITOBA, IN
FACT.
THERE WAS A PLAQUE PUT BESIDE
HIS HEADSTONE BY A MORE MODERN
GROUP WHICH SAID, OH, AND
INCIDENTALLY, THIS GUY WAS THE
WRITER OF THE REPORT WHICH
CREATED RESIDENTIAL SCHOOLS
WHICH MACDONALD AND HIS
GOVERNMENT TOOK UP AND THE
RESULT OF WHICH HAS BEEN
TANTAMOUNT TO CULTURAL GENOCIDE.
AND I WONDER IF THAT IS A WAY
FORWARD?
YOU HAVE, YOU KNOW, SOME PART OF
THE POPULATION RESPECTING THE
PAST WITH THE NAME ON THE
SCHOOL, BUT MAYBE A PLAQUE IN
ADDITION CONTEXTUALIZING THE
REST OF THE STORY, IF YOU LIKE.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THAT OPTION?

The caption changes to "Sharing the stage."

Niigaan says I THINK
SCHOOLS ARE THE PLACES WHERE
THESE CONVERSATIONS NEED TO
HAPPEN.
THE IDEA WE'RE GOING TO SOMEHOW
FORGET AT ANY TIME THAT THE
BRITISH CAME AND COLONIZED
CANADA... IT WILL NEVER BE
FORGOTTEN.
AND I THINK NAMING... CHANGING
THE NAME ON A DAY FROM DOMINION
DAY TO CANADA DAY IS AN ABSOLUTE
ABSURD SUGGESTION THAT WE WOULD
FORGET THAT THE BRITISH PEOPLE
HAVE COME AND TAKEN THIS
COUNTRY.
HOWEVER, AT THE SAME TIME I
THINK THAT SCHOOLS ARE PLACES
THAT THESE CONVERSATIONS NEED TO
HAPPEN.
HOWEVER, THE CONVERSATION IS
ONE-SIDED, DOMINATING, AND FULLY
IT IS STILL A VERY SANITIZED
CONVERSATION.
I WALK INTO ANY SCHOOL, THE
FIRST THING I SEE IS THE MARKERS
OF THE CANADIAN STATE, THERE'S A
CERTAIN SONG THAT'S SUNG AT THE
BEGINNING OF THE DAY, THE WAY
THAT PEOPLE DRESS, THE WAY THE
BUILDING IS BUILT, THE STORIES
THAT ARE TOLD.
CHANGING THE NAME IS ONE
IMPORTANT STEP IN A VERY LARGE
CONVERSATION.
I RECOGNIZE THAT, YOU KNOW,
THESE ARE BIG CHANGES.
IT'S VERY TRAUMATIC FOR
CANADIANS TO SEE THE HISTORY OF
WHAT CANADA REALLY IS.
AND SO PERHAPS INCREMENTAL
CHANGES, LIKE YOU'RE SUGGESTING,
IS IMPORTANT.
HOWEVER, I DON'T THINK CANADA IS
THAT KIND OF PLACE THAT WE ALL
WANT TO HAVE SMALL SORT OF
CHANGES THAT REALLY ARE
INSIGNIFICANT IN THE LONGER
SCHEME OF THINGS.
WE NEED TO CHANGE THE COUNTRY IN
A VERY SIGNIFICANT WAY IF WE'RE
TO REACH RECONCILIATION.
THAT MEANS BEING ADULTS.
THAT MEANS BEING RESPONSIBLE
CITIZENS WITH ONE ANOTHER AND
LOOKING AT EACH OTHER'S
EXPERIENCES AND INCLUDING THEM
IN OUR OWN EDUCATIONAL PATHS.

Steve says FAIR ENOUGH.
TORI, YOU SAW IN THAT POLL A
SIGNIFICANT MAJORITY OF
CANADIANS PRESUMABLY THINK IT
WOULD BE INSULTING TO TAKE SIR
JOHN A.'S NAME OFF THE
BUILDINGS.
I UNDERSTAND WHY YOU BELIEVE IT
IS INSULTING TO HAVE HIS NAME ON
THE BUILDINGS.
ADDING A PLAQUE, PUTTING HIS
CONTRIBUTION, NEGATIVE AND
POSITIVE TO CANADA, IN CONTEXT,
WHAT DO YOU THINK THAT'S GOING
TO ACHIEVE?

The caption changes to "Tori Cress, @wahtasweetnish."

Tori says I DON'T THINK
IT'S GOING TO ACHIEVE MUCH,
PUTTING A DISCLAIMER ON, OKAY,
BUT THERE'S THIS PART OF THE
STORY.
HOW IS THAT ENGAGING PEOPLE IN
ANY SORT OF WAY?
YOU'RE NOT TEACHING ANYTHING.
THESE TEACHERS HAVE MADE A
SIGNIFICANT STEP, AND THAT'S
WHERE WE NEED TO START, IS WITH
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL CHILDREN,
BECAUSE THOSE ARE THE YOUNG
MINDS THAT ARE JUST BEING
FORMED, AND WE WANT TO GIVE THEM
THE WHOLE TRUTH, NOT JUST, YOU
KNOW, HERE'S YOUR CONSOLATION
PLAQUE WITH THE DISCLAIMER
THAT'S SEVERAL PAGES LONG,
YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO FLIP
THROUGH.

Steve says PREMIER WYNNE MUSED
GOING FORWARD WE SHOULD ALL BE
PS 1, PS 2, PS 3, A NUMBER LIKE
NEW YORK CITY.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THAT IDEA?

Tori says I'M NOT OPPOSED TO THAT.

Steve says CHRISTOPHER, LET ME
GET YOUR TAKE ON THIS.
YOU WERE INVOLVED AT WILFRID
LAURIER UNIVERSITY TO PUT UP
STATUES OF ALMOST ALL OF OUR
FORMER PRIME MINISTERS AND THAT
WENT CRASHING DOWN TO EARTH WITH
A THUD FOR LACK OF SUPPORT.
WHAT WAS YOUR TAKE-AWAY FROM
THAT WHOLE INCIDENT?

The caption changes to "Christopher Dummitt, @chrisdummitt1."
Then, it changes again to "The good, the bad, the history."

Christopher says I
WASN'T INVOLVED TO RAISE THEM.
I HAD THE TEMERITY THAT IT
WASN'T A BAD IDEA.
I KNOW WHAT THEY'RE SAYING ABOUT
THE POWER OF THE CANADIAN
LEGACY.
I THINK RIGHT NOW ANY TIME
SOMEONE SUGGESTS THAT A FORMER
PRIME MINISTER MAY NOT HAVE BEEN
A BAD GUY I THINK THERE'S GOING
TO BE A WHOLE SERIES OF CITIZENS
STANDING UP TO DO THAT.
I THINK THE IRONY OF THIS IS
THIS IS COMING UP IN THE CONTEXT
OF U.S. DEBATES.
THIS HAPPENS IN CANADA ALL THE
TIME.
IF SOMETHING HAPPENS IN THE
U.S., PEOPLE IN CANADA SAY
CANADA'S JUST LIKE THAT.
THERE'S AN ATTEMPT TO MAKE AN
EQUIVALENCE.
I DON'T THINK THERE IS AN
EQUIVALENCE TO WHAT YOU'RE
TALKING ABOUT IN THE U.S.

Steve says IN THE U.S., I MEAN,
THOSE GUYS ARE TRAITORS.
THEY WERE BASICALLY TRYING TO
BREAK UP THE COUNTRY.
THE FACT YOU WOULD HAVE A STATUE
TO A TRAITOR IS A DIFFERENT
FLAVOUR ON THIS DEBATE.

Christopher says IN
1885, RIEL WAS SEEN AS A TRAITOR.
PEOPLE HAVE COME TO SEE HIM A
LOT DIFFERENTLY SINCE THAT.
CANADA'S TRAITOR CHANGES OVER TIME.

Steve says NIIGAAN, WE CAN GIVE
YOU THE LAST 30 SECONDS AND SAY,
GOING FORWARD, LET'S NAME A
SCHOOL AFTER AN IMPORTANT
INDIGENOUS FIGURE FROM THE
HISTORY OF THIS LAND.
GIVE US SOME NAMES THAT BELONG
UP ON SCHOOLS.

The caption changes to "Niigaan Sinclair, @Niigaanwewidam."

Niigaan says WE'VE
DONE IT HERE IN MANITOBA.
SERGEANT PRINCE COMES TO FIND,
TECUMSEH COMES TO MIND, LEADERS,
ST. KATERI.
WE HAVE LEADERS THAT ALL WALK
THROUGH... THE FOUNDERS OF IDLE
NO MORE ARE IMPORTANT, SYLVIA
MacADAM.
YOU DON'T HAVE TO LOOK FAR TO
FIND INDIGENOUS LEADERS
THROUGHOUT HISTORY AND TODAY.
LOUIS RIEL IS ONLY BEGINNING TO
SCRATCH THE SURFACE.

Steve says I HEARD SOMEBODY THE
OTHER DAY SAY JOSEPH BRANT WAS A
SIGNIFICANT INDIGENOUS FIGURE
FROM THE HISTORY OF THIS LAND.
THERE'S A HOSPITAL IN BURLINGTON
NAMED AFTER HIM, THERE ARE TOWNS
NAMED AFTER HIM, BUT HE OWNED
SLAVES AND THAT IS SOMEWHAT
PROBLEMATIC IN TERMS OF FUTURE
RECOGNITION.
I GUESS I REPEAT THE QUESTION:
THIS IS MORE COMPLICATED THAN IT
FIRST SEEMS.
YES?

Niigaan says YES, ABSOLUTELY.
THE ISSUE OF NAMING BUILDINGS
AFTER HISTORICAL FIGURES IS VERY
COMPLEX, AND IT'S A CONVERSATION
THAT NEEDS TO BE HAD BETWEEN
RESPONSIBLE PEOPLES WHO WANT TO
SAY, WHO DO WE WANT TO HOLD UP
AS A NATION?
AND I THINK THIS CONVERSATION...
IF ANYTHING THE TEACHERS HAVE
SHOWED US IS THAT THIS
CONVERSATION NEEDS TO HAPPEN AND
NEEDS TO HAPPEN TODAY.

The caption changes to "Producer: Eric Bombicino, @ebombicino; Harrison Lowman, @harrisonlowman; Producer: Cara Stern, @carastern."

Steve says I'M GLAD WE HAD A
LITTLE BIT OF IT ON TVO TONIGHT.
NIIGAAN SINCLAIR, THANK YOU FOR
JOINING US FROM THE UNIVERSITY
OF MANITOBA.
CHRISTOPHER DUMMITT FROM TRENT
UNIVERSITY, AND TORI CRESS,
CO-FOUNDER OF IDLE NO MORE
ONTARIO.

Tori says THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

Watch: Tear Down This Name!