It’s a truism that a nation that does not know its history is lost in an amnesiac condition, unable to understand its present or discuss a meaningful national future. It’s also nothing short of shocking that our own government, duly-elected to represent our collective interests, should actively and without compunction take measures to restrict, obscure, even destroy, what we—all Canadians—rightfully own: our stories, our histories, our collective memory, our heritage. Our national library and archives have a long and honourable history of their own. They are integral to what makes us Canadian. They represent a commitment to respect our history, our national traditions, the personally and collectively important objectives that we hold true as Canadians. They confirm the continuities and reveal the changes that we have undertaken. They inform our present. In sum, threats to the treasury that contains our history in all its varied elements quite simply impoverish our culture and diminish our sense of identity: our future as Canada. We cannot let this happen.
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Dr. Cynthia Comacchio is a professor of history at Wilfrid Laurier University
For more commentary see:
Harperizing Canada’s History and Heritage by Eric Sager
Making Canada’s Past a Slave to Power by Jeffrey Simpson