John A. Macdonald: A Legacy to Remember

John A. Macdonald:  A Legacy to Remember

Everyone has a dark side, but for a historical politician, this dark side may be the only way they are remembered. However, most historical people deserve a better legacy than what their dark side has left behind. A great example of a challenged politician is John A. Macdonald. Because of his “measures meant to destroy native cultures and traditions” within Canada, many Canadians believe his name and public figure should be removed from modern Canada’s public sphere(Olivier, 2017). The problem with this statement is that it doesn’t properly evaluate John A. Macdonald’s work for Canada, it only evaluates his dark side. John A. Macdonald has a challenging dark side, but he should still be respected because the views related to the racism of his time were vastly different than now, and because of his contributions creating the RCMP, along with his contributions to form Canada, trumps what he did to harm Canada’s history.


The reason this controversy is happening now, rather than in Macdonald’s time, is because Canadian values have changed drastically. Canadians value equality more than we ever have in history. Unfortunately, in Macdonald’s time, Canada didn’t value equality as much as it needed to, and this is what caused the terrible history between Canada and it’s indigenous people, this wasn’t completely John A. Macdonald’s fault. Today, we can easily “assume that almost anybody else in the prime minister’s chair at the time [of John A Macdonald,] would have similarly pursued an assimilationist policy against Canada’s First Nations,”(Hopper, 2018). Even the “ Liberal opposition benches accuse Macdonald of not starving Indians enough,”(Hopper, 2018). This is why we can’t rightfully shame John A. Macdonald for what he did to the First Nations. Of course, there was nothing stopping John A. Macdonald for fighting for the rights of the indigenous people, there was only a lot of people and other politicians wanting him to mistreat the indigenous people. If Macdonald wasn’t cruel to the indigenous people, he may have been voted out of parliament for not sharing the same views as his followers. Canada could be different today if Macdonald wasn’t Prime Minister, possibly for the worse. Although, the first nations people could be in a better state than they are now if Macdonald wasn’t the prime minister at the time, or if he had fought for their rights, but Canada’s relationship with the first nations could have been much worse if John wasn’t Prime Minister.


In addition, Macdonald has contributed a lot to build this country. Along with creating the CPR railroad and uniting multiple colonies to form Canada, “Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald created the police force that became the Royal Canadian Mounted Police,”(Bonikowsky, 2015). Macdonald founded the North West Mounted Rifles. He created the NWMR to bring order and safety to the wild Northwest Territories in the mid-late 1800s, and the NWMR eventually became the North West Mounted Police, then the Royal North West Mounted Police and finally the RCMP that we know today. The RCMP plays a vital role in modern day Canada, without them, there would be no one to properly enforce the laws. The RCMP even  “sent two cavalry squadrons” to help fight in World War 1 in 1918, (Bonikowsky, 2015). Macdonald is responsible for creating our police force, along with other vital parts of Canada like the CPR, and this is why we are wrongfully disrespecting him by taking down his statues and calling him ‘a traitor’. Macdonald made some terrible mistakes, but he made more good decisions and contributed more good to Canada than he took away.


In Macdonald’s time, racism was at a height, and being a prime minister in this time of racism wasn’t easy, but using the RCMP as an example, Canadians can know Macdonald always had Canada and it’s identity as a priority. Because of the views on racism in his time, John A Macdonald has done some terrible things to Canada, but more importantly, he has done more great things for Canada, like found the RCMP, and for this, he deserves our respect and to stay in the public sphere. Even though Canadian values have changed since our beginning, there is one value we can’t forget. We need to always remember and value our past, we need to celebrate the good of our past, and never forget the mistakes that were made while founding our country. Something that all Canadians cherish is modern day Canada, and Canada, as we love it today, would not be possible without our founding parents, we cannot deny them their proper legacy.


Works Cited

“Comment: John A. Macdonald Statue’s Removal Is Overdue.” Times Colonist, 13 Oct. 2017,

“The Formation of the RCMP.” The Formation of the RCMP | The Canadian Encyclopedia,

Hopper, Tristin. “Here Is What Sir John A. Macdonald Did to Indigenous People.” National Post, 28 Aug. 2018,

Olivier, Annabelle. “Activists Deface Statue of Sir John A. Macdonald in Downtown Montreal.” Global News, 12 Nov. 2017,

In Depth Last Blog Post

Chapter 9: Concepts

My mentor and I are constantly explaining concepts to each other. We mostly discussed these concepts and the beginning of the project, by discussing several of my different robot ideas. Now, we still discuss concepts. For a broad example, a few sessions ago, we implemented a closed loop feedback system I designed (just a fancy way of knowing where the arm actually is, I can explain much better in detail). The concept is getting feedback on the arm, but the potentiometers* and my 3d models to mount the potentiometers to the arm is the practical ideal on how we would get the concept to work. For a more specific example, take a rotary encoder. We also need feedback for the robot’s base, only problem is that the base moves continuously, meaning a potentiometer wont work for the base feedback system. A rotary encoder is similar to a potentiometer, but can move continuously. The concept is the rotary encoder giving feedback, and the practical idea is how the rotary encoder actually works, and how the code will use the encoder for feedback with the arm.

*A potentiometer is a variable resistor, that will spit out different resistances as a value depending on its position, but the potentiometer cannot spin continuously Again, I can explain much better in person.

Chapter 10: Alternatives

My mentor has offered me many alternatives that my last year’s mentor could not. Instead of being close by like my last year’s mentor, he grants me access to a wide range of CNC machinery and various parts for my project. I am very happy with the alternatives that he grants me. For a more specific example, I will use the rotary encoder again. The rotary encoder is an alternative to the potentiometers. The encoder offers continuous rotation, but, the encoder can only spit out 2 separate outputs each with values of 0, or 1, Instead of the potentiometer values of 0 – 1023. This means that more work would have to go into the programming of the robot, and, the robot would need some way of reverting back to its “home position” every time the code initiates. I have an idea of solving this problem, which will be apparent in my learning center.

My learning center will be basically just the robot(I’ve named it Milton). Alongside Milton, I want to have a slideshow or video showing my journey creating the robot. I want to focus on the very basics of how Milton works, and go into detail if I am asked. I want to focus on how much time I spent on this project, how much work I put into this project. For the interactive part, I want Milton to be able to interact with the audience, or have the audience be able to operate the robot themselves.

For the slideshow/video I want to have a montage of pictures, videos and timelapses like this:

Novel Study Check in

“<We’d better start organizing ourselves>”(12)


This is Louis Riel telling his friends to prepare themselves to defend their land against the English. I thought this quote is a great way to start off a biography, especially how this quote properly represents what Louis believes in. He was always ready to stand for his land and the ones who were not properly represented in parliament.


At the time, Louis and the Red River Settlement were in a very defensive state, fighting for what they believed in, trying to get the Canadian government to respect their values. This says a lot about Canadian identity, even though the Red River Rebels were fighting the Canadian government, they were fighting for the land that would eventually become Canada. So this rebellion is an example that Canadians fight for what they believe in, and are not scared to make sacrifices, as did Louis when he committed treason to fight for his people.


“Okay, Colonel Dennis, I want you to post this royal proclamation in the settlement and raise an armed force against the half-breeds.”(45)


I found this quote interesting because it shows that Louis Riel wasn’t the only ‘traitor’ in the mix of early Canada. This ‘royal proclamation’ was supposedly a forged document created to shut down Riel’s following. With this quote, Riel is seeming more and more like a hero, rather than the traitor he was killed for.


Even though this forged document may just be real in this bibliography, it definitely makes sense. This incident in the book makes Riel seem like the heroic, ‘good guy’ compared to the Canadian government, and how the book phrases “armed force against the half-breeds” makes the government at the time seem racist and like the antagonist of the book. This means that this book was published in favor of Riel, and at a time where the idea that Riel was a hero was the dominant view.


“I propose t’at we set up a convention of 40– t’e french will elect 20 representatives, and so will t’e English. Together we’ll decide what rights we’re entitled to and what’s more, gentlemen, we’ll get t’ose rights!”(75)


I find this quote interesting because it shows that Louis was able to round up the French and the English. I always thought that Louis only cared about the French, but this quote shows that he values equality, other than the dash of sexism by calling a crowd ‘gentlemen’.


Like I said, this quote shows equality, meaning the author of this book valued showing Riels equality, making him seem more like a hero in history. Riel decided to have equal representation from the French and the English, even though the English were the minority. At the same time, the author of this book values historical accuracy by showing that Riel was sexist at times, like most of the people back then. This quote is an example of Canada’s equality. This means that certain Canadians have always cared about equality to an extent, and equality has always been part of some Canadians.


“<Very well. We’ll court-martial him tomorrow on a charge of… … of treason>”(154)


This quote is interesting to me because it shows what Riel is capable of. He decided to execute a prisoner because the prisoner was yelling in the cell. Riel’s followers wanted the prisoner dead, and Riel refused to kill the prisoner. Although, Riel eventually killed the prisoner to keep his followers loyal. This surprised me, this showed me that Riel wasn’t all hero, he killed a debatably innocent person. Now, I understand why other people, specifically English people, think Riel is a traitor. I remember my parents and other influencing adults telling me that Riel was a traitor to Canada, and I believed them, so now I know why they think/thought that.


How the author phrased this quote makes Riel seem like he’s acting against his will. From prior school assignments, I know that it is almost impossible to be completely historically accurate, so the author had some bias in this quote. This means that when this book was written, the author valued showing Riel as a hero over historical accuracy. Showing Riel as a hero means more Canadians now will think of Riel as a hero. This also means that some modern Canadians are okay with remembering the important Canadians in history as heroes, even when some of the important Canadians have done villainous things. Another good example of this is John A. Macdonald, although some view Mr. Macdonald as a villain more than a hero.


“So first you should negotiate with the settlers and get them to voluntarily join Canada. Then, if it’s still necessary to put the half-breeds in their place, we go in with troops.”(196)


This quote is interesting because it shows more of the Canadian government and how they make decisions, something this book does really well. I like how the book shows the Canadian government trying to be peaceful, but the book also shows that Canada is not afraid of getting what they want through violent means. This is how most elementary and middle school dilemmas are solved in the playground. I’ve seen many times where someone will try and get what they want, maybe a change in the rules of the game of ‘tag’, and get increasingly aggressive until they get what they want, or until a teacher comes to the commotion.


Similar to the last quote, the author of this book continues to make the Canadian government look like the antagonist of history. The author of this book shows the Canadian government being peaceful, but this ‘peace’ is false. The Canadian government was getting Louis and his settlers to join Canada whether the settlers wanted to or not. Now, Canada has become more diplomatic and peaceful. We are more okay with making compromises than we were back then.


Theme: Sometimes, history may be remembered differently by certain individuals based on how these individuals wanted the past to happen. Opinions about history easily turn into facts.