Megan Davies, ‘Make-Believing White Civility: Historical Re-enactments at Fort Langley, British Columbia’, Canadian Theatre Review, 161, 2015, pp. 55-59

06Feb15
Abstract: In 1858 Governor James Douglas proclaimed British Columbia a colony at Fort Langley before an audience of Hudson’s Bay Company officials, workers, and Indigenous leaders. The Proclamation dissolved the Hudson’s Bay Company trading monopoly and, while claiming to protect Indigenous lands, actually asserted British ownership of their territory. In the present, Fort Langley National Historic Site holds regular re-enactments of the Proclamation through their educational programs targeting local schools. The script for these re-enactments, authored by Parks Canada staff, allows schoolchildren to role-play a scenario in which James Douglas proclaims British Columbia a colony to protect Indigenous lands, without explicitly staging the negative consequences for Indigenous peoples that the claiming of those lands caused.


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