‘Harmful legacy’ of Regina John A. Macdonald statue under review

The City of Regina says the downtown statue of Canada’s first prime minister represents a “harmful legacy” and that the piece of public art is under review.

A sign hanging around the feet of the John A. Macdonald monument in Victoria Park Tuesday morning indicated the city has begun consultation with elders and community members, including artists and cultural groups, on how best to proceed.

Signage regarding the legacy review hangs from the John A. Macdonald statue in Victoria Park.
Signage regarding the legacy review hangs from the John A. Macdonald statue in Victoria Park.Stewart Manhas / Global News

“The city will seek guidance on responding to harmful legacies and increasing community understanding of Regina’s diverse histories,” adds a post on the city’s website, which notes there will be opportunities for broader public engagement.

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Read more: ANALYSIS: Reconciliation reinterprets the legacy of Sir John A. Macdonald

John A. Macdonald has become a contentious and controversial historical figure, given his role in establishing colonial systems, including residential schools, that oppressed Indigenous peoples across the country.

The statue of him in Regina has been vandalized on multiple occasions. In one incident, the statue’s hands were spray painted red.

Read more: Regina John A. Macdonald statue vandalized for the second time this year

Other Canadian municipalities have been handed petitions calling for the removal of their John A. Macdonald statues. Victoria, B.C., obliged, although some argued taking down the monument was an attempt at erasing history.

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