Eurocentric discovery doctrine denounced

Chronicle-Herald.weapon-ofOn July 2, 2013 the Halifax Chronicle Herald published a Canadian Press item in its Today in History section entitled “In 1578, Martin Frobisher discovered the Hudson Strait.” In response, Mi’kmaw Elder and historian, (Dr.) Daniel N. Paul, C.M., O.N.S. wrote to associate publisher Ian Thompson to protest the use of such inaccurate and Eurocentric propaganda:

Dear Mr. Thompson:

While perusing today‚s paper, July 2nd, in TODAY IN HISTORY, I read a blurb that asserted that in 1578 Martin Frobisher discovered the Hudson Strait. A few weeks ago another item appeared in the same spot that alleged that he had discovered Frobisher Bay. Both, unless one is a dyed in the wool white supremacist, are false assertions – the Innu and Inuit discovered these waters thousands of years before any White man ever laid eyes on them.

It’s time for Caucasians to reexamine their racists beliefs that Europeans discovered places such as Hudson Strait in the Americas – racist beliefs such as these are the direct result of the demonization of the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas by colonial Europeans – which today fuels the systemic racism that still burns brightly in this country and burdens our People. I’ll put it this way, if Caucasians still believe that Europeans discovered the Americas and the rivers, lakes, mountains, bays, etc., of both Continents, then the obvious conclusion is that Caucasians still harbour a belief that the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas were and are less than human.

Please consider using something like this in future publications: “In 1578 Martin Frobisher was the first recorded European to make transit through what became known as Hudson Strait.“

Thanks for your consideration!

Although Mr. Thompson responded to Dr Paul that he had asked Canadian Press, from whom the feature originated, and his own news editors to try to stop the practice of printing false information, no retraction seems to have been published.

In a letter to his e-mail list, Danny Paul asks: “Please consider writing letters of protest to newspapers in your areas when they publish false assertions of European discovery of places and things in the Americas and demand that they stop publishing such erroneous information. Maybe if we protest often and long enough the practice will stop.”

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Filed under History, Indigenous Peoples

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