After reading Monday, August 13 issue of The Western Star’s front-page story “Randy Burt Suggests Replacing Discovery Day with Heritage Day”, followed by a letter to the editor by Mr. Colin Burke on a later date “Discovery Day Name Change is Nonsense”, I would like to respond to both.
First of all, to Mr. Randy Burt’s suggestion to which I must say I agree 100 percent. I also believe that John Cabot didn’t discover Newfoundland or anything else for that matter. How can one discover land already occupied by man?
Indigenous people where here long before John Cabot arrived. Indigenous people by those who claimed this land weren’t recognized as people back then. They weren’t educated; history was written by those who sought fame. Sad but true.
Changing Discovery Day to Heritage Day will give everyone of different cultures a chance to celebrate. To which I applaud. Mr. Burn did his homework on this one.
I don’t know if Mr. Burt is an aboriginal person but I have to say that I am proud to see someone take a stand on issues of this importance. I also hope that MHA John Finn and especially Premier Dwight Ball support him on this.
Mr. Colin Burke’s response to Randy Burt’s suggestion also caught my eye. I have a lot of respect for Colin, we grew up in the same town, a pillar one would say in our community. Without any malice, I have to disagree with his views on this issue. I think a change is long overdue in favor of Randy Burt on this one.
Mr. Burke in his letter stated that he supposed that Newfoundland would be the next thing for people to want to change its name. One never knows, times are also changing. Indigenous people are now educated, maybe it’s time to have our history rewritten on who discovered this or who discovered that. There were no civil rights back then. Indigenous people like the black man were not considered people. A lot of changes have come about. Indigenous people now have places in government. They have a say. Look at the history changes for the black man when one became the president of the United States. So on should never say never, because our history is also going to change then for some their glory will be their loss and this to my friend will be no nonsense.
Frank Russell, Port-au-Port East