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Royal B.C. Museum to be imminently gutted in the name of 'decolonization'

Fishbone Jones

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Can someone, from BC, explain why this guy isn't being stopped? I want to say some pretty nasty things about the Left Coast right now, but I'll reserve judgement until I hear some local perspective.

 

Remius

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Can someone, from BC, explain why this guy isn't being stopped? I want to say some pretty nasty things about the Left Coast right now, but I'll reserve judgement until I hear some local perspective.

Wow.
 

daftandbarmy

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Can someone, from BC, explain why this guy isn't being stopped? I want to say some pretty nasty things about the Left Coast right now, but I'll reserve judgement until I hear some local perspective.


I'm not exactly sure to whom you're referring, but the 'guy' who is destroying the Old Town section of the museum without first preparing a coherent plan to replace it is us - the people of BC as represented by our elected officials and civil servants.

As pointed out in this recent letter to the Editor (below), ironically, amongst other gross errors of leadership this effort seems to be hurting the people it intends to help. So, once again, BC has taken careful aim at an issue and shot itself in both feet. We are an excellent example to not follow.

You're welcome ;)

Indigenous being used by colonists, yet again​

The Royal B.C. Museum board is being disingenuous in its claim that it is “decolonizing” its space to make it safe for Indigenous peoples.

In fact, it is doing the opposite, and is using Indigenous peoples to further its own goals, as colonists have always done.

As an Indigenous person myself who has an inherently strong interest in reconciliation, I am outraged by the way the museum board is using us to claim that its destructive plan is being done for our benefit.

We need to ask to what is really going on here. The museum appears to be trying to accomplish a few goals, and all of them benefit only the institution, not us.

It is clearly trying to virtue signal how good and anti-racist it is in an attempt to deal with bad PR over racism in the museum. It obviously wants to have the ability to say “we’ve taken bold action” (no matter how harmful to Indigenous peoples).

It wants to claim to be respecting the Truth and Reconciliation Commission calls to action. This is not what the TRC called for, and to suggest that somehow this action honours the calls made by the TRC is a dishonest manipulation of the TRC’s work.

Finally, one strongly suspects that it wants to pressure the provincial government for more funding — for “consultation,” a new building, reconstruction or something else.

The result is widespread public anger and hostility. Who bears the brunt? Indigenous people, of course, because we are conveniently being used as the reason for these short-sighted actions.

The museum’s actions set back reconciliation in immeasurable ways. What is happening now is a stark example of systemic racism against Indigenous peoples.

I can’t believe no one has pointed that out yet.

B.P. Williams
Victoria

 

Brad Sallows

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I haven't been in the museum since I was a kid, but the Old Town exhibits were my favourite part.

It's a f*cking shame that contemporary critics' only solution to things they don't like is to throw them away, instead of adding or adjusting content for balance. The colonial history of BC is a big part of the history of BC.
 

Humphrey Bogart

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Canada's solution to it's controversial history WRT to the Indigenous can basically be explained with this photo:

344a7c41a1a04386a401d68ab8cfe782_md.jpg
 

Jarnhamar

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Thanks to a million YouTube rabbit holes about ancient civilizations I've found myself wondering where the First Nations would be if colonization would have never happened.
 

daftandbarmy

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Thanks to a million YouTube rabbit holes about ancient civilizations I've found myself wondering where the First Nations would be if colonization would have never happened.

Define 'colonize'.

Most indigenous - and other human - cultures have been wiped out, or enslaved by other competing cultures, at one time or another.

(And then the fight started) ;)
 

Remius

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Thanks to a million YouTube rabbit holes about ancient civilizations I've found myself wondering where the First Nations would be if colonization would have never happened.
My theory, is if a massive plague hadn’t begun and wiped out 90% of the population prior to most post Colombian contact that the Americas would look a lot like Africa does today.
 

Jarnhamar

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My theory, is if a massive plague hadn’t begun and wiped out 90% of the population prior to most post Colombian contact that the Americas would look a lot like Africa does today.
How so? Was there a plague that swept through pre-contact North America?
 

Remius

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It started after Columbus landed and swept through the continent.
 

Halifax Tar

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Thanks to a million YouTube rabbit holes about ancient civilizations I've found myself wondering where the First Nations would be if colonization would have never happened.

My theory, is if a massive plague hadn’t begun and wiped out 90% of the population prior to most post Colombian contact that the Americas would look a lot like Africa does today.

I'm not sure it could have been avoided. I mean it was called the Age of Exploration lol
 

Remius

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I'm not sure it could have been avoided. I mean it was called the Age of Exploration lol
Not saying it could be avoided. But if it hadn’t happened the Americas would not be what it is today. Indigenous tribes resisted for centuries with the low numbers they had. 10% by all accounts. So imagine how things would be if they had had their numbers.

Just theory crafting though.
 

Jarnhamar

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It started after Columbus landed and swept through the continent.
Sorry I read pre-contact instead of post-contact.

When you compare the technology level of North America in 1492 to where other civilizations were at that time and milestones they reached (philosophy, mathematics, astronomy, construction, navigation) the First Nations really seemed behind everyone else.

For the sake of argument if they would have remained uncontacted like the Sentinelese what advancements would they have likely made in 500 years given the previous slow progression?

I also wonder what would have happened if they were introduced to technology and those other milestones on their own terms through trading and exposure but not colonized and pushed onto reserves. Resembling Africa might be accurate, interesting to consider.



As for BC I'm sure no one is surprised at this point. Left to their own devices I can see BC woke themselves off the map.


 
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Remius

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Sorry I read pre-contact instead of post-contact.

When you compare the technology level of North America in 1492 to where other civilizations were at that time and milestones they reached (philosophy, mathematics, astronomy, construction, navigation) the First Nations really seemed behind everyone else.

For the sake of argument if they would have remained uncontacted like the Sentinelese what advancements would they have likely made in 500 years given the previous slow progression?

I also wonder what would have happened if they were introduced to technology and those other milestones on their own terms through trading and exposure but not colonized and pushed onto reserves. Resembling Africa might be accurate, interesting to consider.



As for BC I'm sure no one is surprised at this point. Left to their own devices I can see BC PCing themselves off the map.


The aztecs were quite advanced and the Haida as well as the Mohawk confederacy were other examples of large alliances of tribes with complex trading routes and political systems.

People always think that indegenous peoples fought in small war parties and raids but that was all an adaptation to take on European warfare. Prior to, pitched battles, palisaded cities and villages, shields and armour and formation warfare was a thing.

Significant metal working clearly being a significant missing element though. It wasn’t unheard of but the purposes were different. One theory is the lack of trainable draught animals in the Americas. So things like plows and transportation of goods and as such DEMAND for metal objects that were used in Europe never happened. Most metal working was decorative and not really of any practical use. Note that Australia also had a lack of trainable draught animals.

It’s an interesting that the lack of trained draught animals could have that sort of impact. Iron working wouldn’t have happened without bronze working and bronze working was impacted by animals being put to use as transportation and trade tools.

I’m sure there are plenty of other reasons. Climate being one I would guess. The Haida had armour that could stop bullets but it wasn’t metal. Their armour would have been better suited for the climate and the types of weapons they would have faced,

Anyways, it’s an interesting subject.
 

Remius

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As for the sentinalese, remember that that is a small tribe, akin to large family unit. Given their geography (a small island) small gene pool and no trade contact at all then it isn’t surprising they are stagnated. No influence really to change and or evolve. American cultures were massive groups and interacted in ways the sentinalese don’t.
 

YZT580

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Define 'colonize'.

Most indigenous - and other human - cultures have been wiped out, or enslaved by other competing cultures, at one time or another.

(And then the fight started) ;)
including celts, saxons, anglos and huns. History is told by the victors and never the vanquished.
 

SeaKingTacco

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My take on the BC Museum is that the entire upper echelon of the Museum has been captured by a faction with a particular ideological bent. They have driven out everyone else with a dissenting opinion and are going to remake the museum along their ideological lines, regardless of what First Nations or the wider general public want.

In short- don’t expect any kind of balanced treatment of history or any real progress on rebuilding the third floor galleries after they have been destroyed, especially as funding dries up with little to no public or corporate support.
 

daftandbarmy

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My take on the BC Museum is that the entire upper echelon of the Museum has been captured by a faction with a particular ideological bent. They have driven out everyone else with a dissenting opinion and are going to remake the museum along their ideological lines, regardless of what First Nations or the wider general public want.

In short- don’t expect any kind of balanced treatment of history or any real progress on rebuilding the third floor galleries after they have been destroyed, especially as funding dries up with little to no public or corporate support.

Well this thing happened last year, which was bad for business on a variety of levels. They seem to be trying to play 'catch up':

Ripping the band-aid off: Resignations and repatriations on the road to museum decolonization​


The Royal British Columbia Museum’s decolonization journey took a personal turn in the summer of 2020.

That’s when Lucy Bell, a Haida woman and the inaugural head of the Indigenous Collections and Repatriation Department, decided that after working there for three-and-a-half years, she had to quit.

And that she was going to make a speech on the way out.

“I’m going to rip the band-aid off and I hope that you have the patience and the love and the understanding to sit with me and listen,” says Bell in a video of her speech which was attended in-person and virtually. “I don’t think they knew what I was going to say, but I felt I could feel it kind of bubbling up in me.

“And I just really felt like I needed to address it and I needed to speak my own truth. So I just – in my speech, I thanked my colleagues for my learning, for the experience, but I also spoke to some of the examples where I was really hurt.”

 
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