(Black Press file photo)

LETTERS: Present day colonialism on display at LDHS fundraiser

Letter writer expresses concerns over LDHS salmon dinner

RE: Ladysmith Historical Society sees big turnout for salmon dinner fundraiser

The article above, published in last week’s Chronicle, raised some concerns for me that I thought I would share with local readers.

Queen Charlotte Islands is properly named Haida Gwaii meaning “islands of the people”. It was renamed Haida Gwaii and made public knowledge over a decade ago.

Additionally, the fundraiser was successful in part due to, “fresh salmon courtesy of a generous donation by local commercial fisherman Ron Maddin who caught the fish in the waters off the Queen Charlotte Islands and flew the salmon in for the occasion.” Herein exposes a number of issues that relate to present day colonialism, privilege and entitlement. Let me explain.

The article reads as though a “local commercial fisherman” is generously donating salmon from the coasts of Haida Gwaii. The true generosity; however, known or unknown, comes from the Haida people and the salmon itself. Sportfishing is a huge industry in and around Haida Gwaii’s waters and because of this most of the fish caught leaves the local communities.

Doing a deeper dive into the context of the fundraiser leads us to the fish on the plate being consumed by those who passively or aggressively celebrate industrial heritage in a silo. What is wrong with honouring our industrial past, you might ask? By celebrating the logging industry – you are celebrating deforestation. By celebrating historic rail – you are celebrating the displacement of Indigenous communities. By celebrating those who benefitted from colonization and industrialization you are celebrating purposeful and strategic harms that were inflicted upon Indigenous communities in the past which have continued impacts in the present.

I encourage anyone reading this to self-educate about local history in a holistic and fulsome way and to understand that although you may love old planes, trains, and automobiles it is up to each and every one of us to learn to recognize our own blind spots and take steps towards seeing the whole picture.

– Lacey McRae Williams

Ladysmith, BC

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nearly 20 individuals accessed LRCA’s cold weather shelter during 2020 snowstorm

Most individuals accessed the shelter for food, showers, laundry, and to warm up

Shoot the Moon pub passes public hearing stage

Rod Alsop and Jon Ludtke’s proposed pub is one step closer after a packed public hearing

Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP visits Wet’suwet’en camps, calls for Coastal GasLink pipeline to be ‘revisited’

Paul Manly met with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and the RCMP to talk about the ongoing situation

BREAKING: LSS evacuated after reports of ‘gas smell’

Students were evacuated to Frank Jameson Community Centre, but have since returned to class

Successful end to search for kayakers along the Chemainus River

Father and son located tired and cold, but otherwise OK

‘Presumptive case’ of coronavirus in Canada confirmed by Ontario doctors

Man in his 50s felt ill on his return to Canada from Wuhan, China

VIDEO: Drone footage shows extent of damage in Highway 4 rockslide

Tofino, Ucluelet still cut off from rest of the island, as crews work to repair roadway

People knowingly take fentanyl so make policy changes to reduce harm: B.C. study

Dr. Jane Buxton, an epidemiologist at the centre, says drug users need more resources,

‘My heart is going to bleed’: Bodies brought back to Canada following Iran plane crash

Remains of Sahar Haghjoo, 37, and her eight-year-old daughter, Elsa Jadidi, were identified last weekend

UBC grad and sister killed in Iran plane crash had bright futures ahead, close friend says

Asadi-Lari siblings Mohammad Hussein and Zeynab were two of 57 Canadians aboard downed Flight PS752

BCLC opens novelty bet on Harry and Meghan moving to the west coast

Meanwhile, real estate agency points to four possible homes for the family

Canada slips in global corruption ranking in aftermath of SNC-Lavalin scandal

The country obtained a score of 77, which places it at the top in the Americas

Wuhan bans cars, Hong Kong closes schools as coronavirus spreads

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said her government will raise its response level to emergency, highest one

Most Read