Activists call to change provincial name of British Columbia due to colonial past

British Columbia may be getting a makeover as many people are now calling for the province to be renamed, as the name doesn't honour the Indigenous people.

British Columbia may be getting a makeover as many people are now calling for the province to be renamed, according to The Tyee, as the name doesn't honour the Indigenous people's that lived there before the arrival of Europeans. It also glorifies explorer Christopher Columbus.

In the wake of George Floyd's murder, many activists are calling for the statues of controversial historical figures to be taken down and names of cities and streets to be abruptly renamed. The term for this procedure is "iconoclasm" which is the practice of breaking down past idols. The idea is to delegitimize the values of a previous culture and to replace them with new ones.

Many statues in Canada and the U.S. are now been seen in a different light and it's not one that is a positive as it once was. Much of the two nation's history is being unearthed to show that Columbus's first thoughts on meeting people of the Caribbean was that they would make good slaves or that Canada's first Prime Minister Sir John A. MacDonald helped to destroy First Nations by creating residential schools. A statue of MacDonald was removed from in front of city hall in Victoria, B.C. two years ago.

Now the latest wave of iconoclasm is looking to go after anything and everything that nods to North America's colonial past. Several statues of Christopher Columbus have been toppled down by protestors or removed by city council over the last couple of weeks and now activists are petitioning to have the names of cities Vaughan and Kitchener changed, and now the province of British Columbia as well. No alternative names have been suggested yet for the province.

 [Tyee]