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  • Writer's pictureThe Low Down

‘New’ histories of the Gatineau

The Editor,

For a long time I’ve appreciated the work of the Gatineau Valley Historical Society (GVHS), acquiring over the years many of its publications, and valuing the resources it has brought together on its website.

Its history of this place has been invaluable to my own exploration of the history of my family’s 90-year-old summer home in the Gatineau Valley — a property that began as Indigenous land, was appropriated for the first time by the Irish settler William Burnett to become part of his homestead in the 1850s, and then was appropriated for the second time by the Gatineau Power Company in the 1920s, as it had acquired the right to own the river and the shoreline.

Reading about the election of Chief Gilbert Whiteduck to the presidency of the GVHS marked for me a cultural shift of real significance for the Gatineau region. Opening the GVHS up to Indigenous histories and experiences is the opportunity to acknowledge and engage with the long history of the Algonquin-Anishinaabe people and develop a deeper and wider understanding of this place. Creating a plural and inclusive history of the Gatineau that expresses our many histories, identities, cultures and languages is an ambition that I hope we can all celebrate and embrace. I look forward to contributing to this important work.

Dr. Frank Gray

Chelsea, QC


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