What’s in a Name? Overcoming Exclusions in the Stories We Tell

photo of Tim Stanley
Tim Stanley

with Timothy J. Stanley
Institute of Canadian and Aboriginal Studies and Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa

20 November 2017
at the University of Victoria

History is not neutral. The stories we tell about the past have real consequences for people in the present. Who we publicly commemorate matters. Should we honour Canada’s first prime minister, John A. McDonald? Or A.W. Neil, the MP from Port Alberni who has a school named in his honour? Or Christopher Columbus, after whom the province is named?  This lecture illustrates ways of developing antiracist and decolonized histories of inclusion for British Columbia and Canada.  


A prize-winning historian of the Chinese and of racism in British Columbia, Timothy J. Stanley studied with Professor Paul Lin at McGill University in the 1970s and later participated in the Canada-China student exchange program. He was recently a member of the General Advisory Committee for the new Canada Hall of the Canadian Museum of History and has been a leading critic in relation to the commemoration of John A. Macdonald. He is the author of Contesting White Supremacy (UBC Press), the forgotten story of Chinese Canadians who fought segregation in Victoria in the 1920s.

This lecture series is supported by a memorial fund dedicated to the late professor and long-time advocate for closer Asia-Canada relations, Neil Burton.

Neil Burton went to China as part of the first Canada-China student exchange in 1973. He lived in China for eight years and then in Japan for 18 years before returning to Canada in 1990. Neil taught at Sophia University, the University of Toronto and at the University of Victoria. A commemorative fund has been established in his honour and has funded the lecture