Our community is responding to the First Nations monument on McCallum Road and it appears that the cost is everyone’s main concern.
No one has recognized that the monument is a reflection of our continuing obligation to reconcile with the First Nations people for past transgressions which were imposed on them.
History reminds us of a papal bull issued in 1493 which classified natives in the newly discovered Americas as uncivilized savages who had no right to lands, liberty or personal possessions.
The British used germ warfare by giving unsuspecting natives pieces of old blankets infected with small pox, under the guise that they were prayer cloths with special powers.
There were many other shameful atrocities, all of which ultimately led to the subjugation of the natives and their cultures to conquest, disease and slavery.
We are very fortunate that Pope John Paul ll as head of the Christian community had the integrity to acknowledge and apologize to the world for the tormented phases in the church’s history.
By doing so, he released himself and the rest of us from the bondage of infallibility that was so detrimental to society’s overall well-being.
The art work on McCallum Road truly symbolizes that we are coming out of the dark ages, where we can accept the First Nations people as our fellow human beings, and work towards helping our respective cultures survive and thrive together.
There are approximately 140,000 residents in Abbotsford, which means the cost of the McCallum art works ought to be around 50 cents or less per person.
This is a very small price for such a powerfully subjective work of art, and I am grateful to our city councillors who supported this initiative.