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City to facilitate public conversation on Sir John A. Macdonald's legacy this fall

August 27, 2019 -

This fall, the City will facilitate a public conversation on Sir John A. Macdonald's historic connections to Kingston. It will explore his role and actions as a political figure and the legacy of those actions today, which must be viewed through the lens of reconciliation. Residents are invited to participate in this dialogue either online or in-person.

"This is an important conversation for the community to have and it aligns with the overarching goals of the City's ongoing Your Stories, Our Histories project, which aims to identify and share a broader understanding of our local history," says Colin Wiginton, cultural director with the City of Kingston.

"It is healthy to re-examine our relationships to historic figures and events," adds Jennifer Campbell, manager, cultural heritage. "It helps us better understand history and how the past impacts the present."

The City will host a panel discussion event on Sept. 17 featuring three renowned historians who will discuss how Kingston can share a more complete, inclusive and diverse history of Sir John A. Macdonald. Residents are invited to attend this free event to hear the speakers' perspectives and compare them with their own. The panelists are:

Charlotte Gray, the author of 11 best-sellers about Canadian history and personalities. She advocated for Sir John A. Macdonald for the CBC program, "Who is the Greatest Canadian?" Charlotte lives in Ottawa and is a Member of the Order of Canada and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. 

Christopher Moore, writer, journalist, and blogger who has been described as Canada's most versatile writer of history. He is a contributing editor to Canada's History magazine, the winner of two Governor-General's Literary Awards, and the author of several books, including 1867: How the Fathers Made a Deal and Three Weeks in Quebec City: The Meeting that Made Canada.

Lee Maracle, an instructor at the University of Toronto in Indigenous Studies and First Nation's house.  Maracle served as a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the Universities of Toronto, Waterloo, Western Washington and Guelph University. Maracle received an Honorary Doctor of Letters from St. Thomas University, and an Honourary Doctor of Laws from the University of Waterloo.  She is the recipient of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee medal and is an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Residents will have the opportunity to contribute their own input to this important dialogue at two community workshops held on Oct. 16 and 17. In addition to these in-person engagement sessions, an online Get Involved engagement page will be open for public comment from Sept. 3 – Oct. 31.