The term “circle the wagons” dates back to the Wild West days when those in a wagon-train would literally circle their wagons to protect themselves and their livestock from attack by hostile natives and lives on as a metaphor for a defensive strategy.
A Google search on the term will find reams of stories containing the phrase but apparently, last year some people or a person, complained that the name was “triggering” because it harkened back to the dark old days of colonialism.
Baran Faber, director of Circle the Wagons, told CBC:
“I don’t think we would have ever named a community event knowing that it was (offensive) or could be to some people.”
Faber noted the complaints ranged from blunt to educational but all carried the same message that the phrase is offensive to Indigenous people.
How does changing this name change anything for natives living on reserves today? Do the vast majority of them even care? And who exactly are these people raising a ruckus about the name?
None of the complainers are identified in the CBC report but despite this, the name was changed and with a year to come up with a new name, what did they come up with?
“Circle” — the first part of the phrase, “Circle the Wagons,” the culturally-insensitive phrase that needs to expunged from the lexicon!
Aren’t we back to square one?