June 19, 2017
The decision by a Lethbridge art gallery to post a sticker deriding the Canada’s 150th birthday as a celebration of First Nations oppression has stimulated controversy.
Last week, the sign, which turns the sesquicentennial’s stylized maple leaf upside down with the words Colonialism 150, caught the eye of Calgary’s Paul Bakhmut, who said its presence on the front door of the publicly funded Southern Alberta Art Gallery is inappropriate.
Eric Ritskes, a University of Toronto sociology and equity studies PhD candidate, said he supplied the Colonialism 150 sticker to the Lethbridge gallery after it approached him.
“I was contacted by someone from the art gallery who was interested in displaying varying perspectives of Canada 150 and asked if they could use the image,” said Ritskes via email.
He said it’s perfectly fair and appropriate for the gallery to display that perspective among those supplied by others and that it’s time Canadians admitted to their country’s dark history.