Zachary-Deom Says We Must Learn From History

Written by on September 1, 2020

One Kahnawakero:non believes that history has to be looked at through a new lens. Christine Zachary-Deom is the head of the Archeology Unit at the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake, and she believes it does not include destroying statues, such as the one of former Prime Minister John A. McDonald that was toppled by protestors in downtown Montreal on the weekend.

“Now that we explore the backgrounds of certain Prime Ministers, you paint them warts and all,” Zachary-Deom said. “You look at their background and you suddenly realize all the damage they have done in the past. So now is the time, with an all encompassing history, you now see everything, all of the negative things that they’ve done.”

Zachary-Deom was one of those who was behind removing General Amherst’s name from a street in Montreal. She also helped to rewrite a plaque that was derogatory to Indigenous people on a Bank of Montreal building in old Montreal more than two years ago.

“I think it’s time to explore, and I think history is explored,” Zachary-Deom said. “But people want to be radical, I don’t know if it’s radical and you hate something and you just tear it down but really look at the person. But I really like the idea of studying a person and start thinking and talking about it. Talking it through is marvelous. It’s time to put up plaques that have Onkwehonwe, Indigenous thoughts on it. It doesn’t accomplish anything just by smashing it down.”

Quebec Premier François Legault said the statue will be restored and put back in place.

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