Good idea?

Ashlyn Haglund

Dear editor:
A fort is not a benign architectural structure. As a visual statement, it’s not in any way symbolic of peaceful co-existence or fair trade.
To the contrary, a fort carries the weight of a specific narrative as a defensive edge in a vast territory, and as part of an offensive network where the unambiguous goal was colonial expansion.
A fort’s design is effective because it’s imposing and impenetrable. As children, climbing into the towers of the replica of Fort St. Pierre to peer out carefully slanted holes and (I recall) aim imaginary weapons, we knew this . . . remember the sharp-tipped walls?
Its form asserts an imbalance of power.
Rebuilding another one for commercial gain denies or ignores all of this. It makes the truth some pale quaint and marketable fiction.
And surely the commercial benefits wouldn’t benefit everyone. They’d be concentrated again in the “fort.”
We are to learn from our history. How is this a good idea?
Ashlyn Haglund
Winnipeg, Man.
(and formerly of
Fort Frances, Ont.)