City looks for public input regarding ‘Sir John A. Macdonald’s legacy’

The City of Kingston is launching a public engagement opportunity asking residents to express how they feel about “Sir John A. Macdonald’s legacy.”

The City announced the ‘Your Stories, Our Histories’ public engagement opportunity in a press release on Friday, Aug. 31, 2018, which asks the question “How does Kingston move forward on a path of reconciliation with Indigenous peoples while addressing the legacy of Sir John A. Macdonald?”

In the hopes of answering that question, the City is asking residents for their input beginning Thursday, Sept. 6. The public engagement opportunity will launch a 2018-2019 community discussion, which the City believes will “help the City reflect Kingston’s deep and diverse histories in its cultural exhibitions, events and programming, according to the press release.

“Our goal through this engagement opportunity is to hear what people think about the whole history of Kingston, the histories that are less well known or less frequently profiled – it is an opportunity for an inclusive dialogue about how we tell our story, a dialogue that is not necessarily just about how the City should manage artifacts linked to Sir John A. Macdonald,” said Jennifer Campbell, manager of cultural heritage for the City of Kingston.

The City’s Civic Collection includes a number of artifacts which mark Sir John A. Macdonald’s time in Kingston, such as the statute in City Park, Engine 1095 ‘The Spirit of Sir John A.’ at Confederation Park, and the portrait of Macdonald in Memorial Hall.

Residents can offer their thoughts on Macdonald, as well as their ideas for building a more inclusive history of Kingston two ways: on a comment card wall in the Sir John A. Macdonald room in City Hall, or; online at GetInvolved.CityofKingston.ca.

Input will be used to shape plans for a number of facilitated engagements in 2019, the City said, and will help the City “develop a prioritized list of interpretive themes/topics that could be used to develop specific exhibitions, installations and programs within City Hall and/or at sites across the community (City museums or other public spaces). It will also address specific themes that have been identified through previous community conversations, to better understand Kingston’s inclusive history and stories that remain to be told.”

Although there is no further information on the City’s website regarding the engagement opportunity, residents can check in at GetInvolved.CityofKingston.ca. on Thursday, Sept. 6 to find out more, or to provide input.

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