LETTER: Changing names won’t bring reconciliation

This is in response to the article titled, “UVic Scholar says restoring Indigenous place names promotes reconciliation” in the June 10 Peninsula News Review.

Restoring Indigenous place names promotes reconciliation? Really?

So the thought is that by changing the name of a place, that has historically been known to generations, is going to sit well with the current general population? The thought of substituting one for the other as progress seems to miss the simple concept of unity building, inclusivity, and perhaps even reconciliation. If one party is reconciled to the change, does that confirm the process is complete? Or is it complete only in one party’s eyes?

Changing a name does not erase history, any more than removing a statue erases history. It merely succeeds it. The history doesn’t change – history is still history.

Would reconciliation be more readily accepted if both current place names and proffered names share space and recognition in new signage?

The current political forces seem to think that because their view is forced on the population, without any consensus, that the general population will accept the change.

The article ostensibly addressed place names and yet editorial comment (in the penultimate paragraph) appears to stray from that topic. Focus on the issue at hand.

Until now, I thought reconciliation included more than a single point of view. That seems to be missing in some measure.

Neil Lensen