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Canada To Remove Demeaning Statue

Wed., Oct. 2, 1996

Yielding to protests from Canadian Indians, a government commission has agreed to remove a statue of an Indian scout kneeling at the base of a monument to French explorer Samuel de Champlain.

Last month, after complaining that the statue was demeaning, the leader of the national assembly of Indian chiefs stormed out of a meeting with the National Capital Commission. The chief, Ovide Mercredi, said the assembly was prepared to tear down the statue on its own.

Some Indians found the statue, which is naked except for a loin cloth, sash and feathers, humiliating because it showed the figure kneeling at the foot of Champlain, who in the early 1600s explored territory that became Canada.

“The sculpture dates back to 1915,” commission spokeswoman Lucie Caron said. “The interpretation of that time versus the interpretation of these days is different. We feel it is appropriate to update the monument.”

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