Beyond Sir John: Unsettling Public Memory in Kingston, Ontario

Laura Murray, Paul Carl


This essay begins with a discussion of how provincial and municipal policy and practice in Kingston has defined “heritage” in such a way as to reinforce class and race privilege. It then offers a critical documentation of the Macdonald bicentennial in Kingston, which has not been done synthetically elsewhere. Finally, it describes some alternative plaques the authors proposed at an Indigenous Symposium on the eve of the bicentennial as a way of insisting on Indigenous presence in the city and challenging triumphalist state narratives.


public memory; commemoration; history; place; sir john a. macdonald; indigenous; indigenization; kingston, ontario; canada

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Copyright (c) 2016 Paul Carl, Laura Murray