THE JUSTIN TRUDEAU government, assisted by all opposition parties, this week completed a masterful rewriting of history.
The prime minister joined with speakers for the Conservatives, NDP, Greens and even the Bloc in apologizing for the execution of six murderers who were hanged 154 years ago, after which he hugged representatives of the Tsilhqot’in Nation on the floor of the House.
The so-called Chilcotin War of 1864 makes for an intriguing story about the clash between British colonists and First Nations — so much so that I wrote a book about it — but the facts have been so twisted for political purposes as to become almost unrecognizable.
From childhood, today’s Tsilhqot’in are taught that the Chilcotin War was a war of honour fought by brave warriors protecting their people and their land.
The basis for this week’s exoneration, which follows not one but two B.C. apologies (one in 1999 by the NDP government and another in 2014 by the Liberal government), is based on that same interpretation.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops, former school board chair, former editor of The Kamloops Daily News, and a current director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He was awarded the Jack Webster Foundation’s lifetime achievement award in 2011. His editorials are published Monday through Thursdays, and Saturdays on CFJC Today, CFJC Midday and CFJC Evening News. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.